Dodds looks ahead to facing former club in the Checkatrade Trophy
Louis Dodds admits that sentiment won’t come into it when he takes on his former club Port Vale in the Checkatrade Trophy tonight.
Dodds spent eight years at Vale Park and admitted that he found it hard to go back there as a Shrewsbury Town player last season, but he knows that to expect this time around and is looking to reach the next round with Shrewsbury.
“I’ve got a lot of friends there and I think the majority of the fans liked me, so it’s nice to go back and say hello, but I’m looking to do a professional job”, said Louis.
“After eight years playing in one place it felt strange to go back and felt like I should be going in the other dressing room, but I had to do a professional job in the end and I scored a goal, so hopefully I will be doing the same tomorrow night.
“I don’t think it will be as bad as last year because it was a massive shock going back there, so I think it will just be another game where I know a lot of the personnel there.”
Town finished second in their group to reach the knockout stages and Louis believes this competition offers a great chance to get to Wembley.
“I think at the start of the season it’s just another game where you get the fitness in, but now we are into the knockout stages it’s starting to gather momentum”, said Dodds.
“The management have banged on since the start of the competition that they want to win it and get to Wembley, so we want to achieve that.
“I think in the other cup competitions we haven’t really got a chance of doing anything. If you get to the third round of the FA Cup you might get one of the big boys, but this is the one where you can actually go out and win it and it would be nice to do that.”
Things have changed a lot since Dodds left Vale Park 18 months ago, but he still has an idea of what to expect with his former strike partner Tom Pope leading the line.
“They are working hard but they aren’t getting the rub of the green at the minute”, Louis said.
“They are struggling a bit but any team can play well on any given day, so we’ve got to be on our game and hopefully do a job.
“I don’t think I’ve seen anyone attack a ball as well as him (Pope) – his heading is phenomenal. I think he’s probably one of the ugliest players that I’ve played alongside but he’s one of the nicest lads as well, so I will be shaking hands before and after, but not during.
“I’ve seen him popping up at the back stick, scoring goals and putting his head in places where most people wouldn’t put their feet, so we need to stop the crosses and stop feeding the Pope.”