Boss Gannon's Got County Dreaming Of Better Days Ahead

If you’re a Stockport County fan, you’re probably sick of hearing this. It’s not that long since the club called Manchester City their local rivals - but are the Hatters finally back on the rise?

Back in 1999 Stockport were in a higher division than City and County won three of the six league fixtures between the sides.

The two clubs have had slightly different fortunes since then. Whilst billionaire-owned Man City have been bankrolled to the top of English football, Stockport have endured some very tough times.

But the green shoots of recovery are showing at long last. The Hatters, who once had a club in China named after them, are looking up.

The club’s recent six-game winning run catapulted them into the National League North play-off places.

Whilst Tuesday night’s defeat at promotion rivals Kidderminster Harriers was a setback, you feel that there is a sense of optimism around Stockport.

The 236 travelling supporters at Aggborough sang their hearts out and know they finally have a team capable of bringing the good times back.

And it doesn’t hurt having a club legend in the dugout, either. Jim Gannon is a realist. He doesn’t blindly promise the world but, in his third stint in charge at Edgeley Park, you know he would love to take County back up the leagues.

“Credit to Kidderminster, they’re a good side,” Gannon told us after Tuesday night’s defeat. “Like ourselves, they’ve got better over the season.

“Both teams plus the likes of Salford, Harrogate, Brackley and York are all really well equipped to get out of the National League North and do well at National League level.

“It’s a fantastic League that we’re in and Tuesday night was a real advert for how far it has come this season.

“There wasn’t a whole lot we did wrong on Tuesday and there will be no wholesale changes on Saturday.

“We’ve got a good group of players now, the bench is looking really strong and everybody is fit. I’m very confident that if we can put in performances like we have in the past seven games, we’ll be back on form.”

Midfielder Jimmy Ball has been a big part of County’s recent successes and his fantastic goal on Tuesday night showed a player full of confidence.

Gannon was full of praise for the March Player of the Month and says others have followed his lead.

“We’ve had a lot of players stepping up in this last month,” Gannon added. “Jason Oswell has five goals in his last three games but Jimmy’s goal on Tuesday was sensational.

“The quality he showed was fantastic and shows why he got player of the month. For anybody wondering who Jimmy Ball was, they have seen what a good player he is. Throughout the whole season, he’s been one of our best players.”

Photo by Mike Petch

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