Thursday, May 23, 2024

Dave Challinor hails ‘special, special night’ as Stockport crowned champions

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 16 Apr 2024

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Stockport manager Dave Challinor described his side’s victory over Notts County as “special” after winning the League Two title.

Paddy Madden’s first-half hat-trick set up a 5-2 success, Antoni Sarcevic and Ethan Pye also on target as the hosts briefly threatened a comeback through Macaulay Langstaff and Dan Crowley.

“Special, special night,” said Challinor. “I am really looking to 5:00pm on Saturday because to be able to lift the trophy in front of 10,000 of our supporters, knowing that it is going to be in our hands, is a really great place to be.

“It is our just deserts for what everybody has put in to get us to this point. We came up with a different way of playing today.”

It is the first time the Hatters have won a Football League division title since the 1966-67 season but Challinor was quick to praise those around him, despite being a main part of the club’s recent success.

“My name is above one door but there are people’s names all over the doors that go into what has given us the best chance of being stood where we are now,” he said.

“There is too many to mention, but we will make sure that everyone has a great day on Saturday. I count myself to have been very fortunate to have been in this situation before where I have won a league title before the last game of the season, so you can prepare to go out on to the pitch and pick the trophy up in front of our supporters.”

Notts County boss Stuart Maynard bemoaned his side’s errors during the contest but was pleased with his players’ reaction to going four goals down, making it a nervy final few moments for the visitors before Pye’s goal.

“We had to tactically change it to get us back into the game and I thought when we did change it, it did make a difference,” he said.

“But once again, errors have killed us. When we made that first error, we kind of go in our shell and that is when we need to pump our chest out and show we are ready to fight, but we didn’t.

“When you go in 3-0 down at half-time it’s a mountain to climb against probably the best team that we have come up against as a management team in this league and they have shown why they are the champions.”

Scenes of jubilation among the away supporters continued long after the full-time whistle and after a strong start to the season, Maynard insisted those celebrations have to be used as fuel to mount a title challenge next season.

“That has got to fuel us. That has got to really hurt,” he said. “That hurts me, that result and seeing them pick up the title here.

“We have got to go again and make sure that is us come next season.”

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