Rob Page denies animosity ahead of Port Vale return

(Picture: Action Images via Reuters)

He left to take over at Northampton amid a lot of tension, but Rob Page says there is no animosity between himself and Port Vale chairman Norman Smurthwaite.

Page was in charge for two years at Port Vale, but decided to jump ship in May this year when the Cobblers came calling for his services, and at the time the departure seemed to create a lot of anger.

In the days after Page leaving, Smurthwaite was defiant in saying he was going to relieve the 42-year-old of his duties anyway, and that assistant Paul Bodin had been ‘the brains of the operation.’

Due to this, you would understand if Page had some ill-feeling towards Smurthwaite, but the Northampton boss, who travels with his new side to Vale Park on Saturday, told the Stoke Sentinel: “From my point of view we worked together and had a working relationship.

“We didn’t always agree with each other, but it wouldn’t have been right if you just agreed on everything.

“We had a difference of opinion at times and it is what it is. But we are both mature about it. I have moved on and Bruno Riberio has done a good job.

“I wish them both the best and there is no animosity from me whatsoever; I am looking forward to coming back.”

Port Vale was the place where Page was given his chance in management, after years in the game as a player at clubs such as Watford, Sheffield United and Coventry.

It was Micky Adams who first employed him on a coaching basis, as his assistant manager in 2011, before getting the role of manager when Adams left in September 2014.

“I will always be in debt to Port Vale Football Club and Micky Adams because they gave me the opportunity to get into coaching.” said Page.

“Without Port Vale I wouldn’t be a manager today. I am still in touch with a lot of supporters at Vale and I had a great time there.


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