Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Dave Challinor urges Stockport to make MK Dons victory a ‘statement win’

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 23 Mar 2024

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Stockport manager Dave Challinor called on his side to back up their crushing 5-0 win against fellow promotion hopefuls MK Dons after they gave their chances of securing an automatic place a major boost.

Callum Camps, Paddy Madden, Tanto Olaofe, Connor Lemonheigh-Evans and Neill Byrne scored the goals as the Hatters secured just a second win in their last eight matches.

Victory moves them back up to second place – two points behind leaders Mansfield – having dropped below Wrexham earlier in the day.

And Challinor is keen to see his team follow it up in the right manner, starting with Friday’s game away at bottom side Forest Green.

“Is it a statement win if you lose the next two? No it’s not, it’s a win,” he said.

“You have to go and make it a statement win and after 46 games reflect and say ‘yeah, that was a win that really gave us the kick and the boost we needed at the right point in time’.

“You’ve got to go and back that up now with four or five more feelings like that because if you can do that four or five more times, then you get the ultimate feeling of achieving something that we’ve worked so hard for over the course of the season.

“All we’ve done today is increase the gap over MK Dons and put us in a stronger position, and probably put a little bit more pressure on them in terms of the results they’ve got to get in their last six.

“But from our perspective, it still remains the same – we’ve got games to win.”

Defeat for MK Dons sees them remain in fourth place – three points behind Wrexham, who occupy the final automatic promotion spot.

Manager Mike Williamson was left to rue his side’s inability to convert their opportunities before going behind just after the half-hour mark – a period during which they were very much in the ascendancy.

“We’re on the raw end of a heavy defeat, but when we diagnose and we look at it, we’ve got to hold our hands up and say that we gave goals away, of course, uncharacteristically,” he said.

“I thought we played extremely well – we were clean, we were sharp, we mixed it up.

“We couldn’t take any of our chances early on when we were dominant, and then obviously we were punished for it.

“We need to refocus and go again, and try and get that momentum back to where it was before the first goal.

“But they’re up there for a reason and they were clinical in everything they did.”

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