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‘Moment of quality’ lacking for Stockport – Dave Challinor

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 20 Feb 2024

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Stockport manager Dave Challinor believes that his team 0-0 are lacking a “moment of quality” following their 0-0 draw with Gillingham in League Two on Tuesday night.

The league leaders came to Gillingham after sustaining back-to-back losses at the hands of Crewe and Tranmere.

Struggling in both defence and attack in recent weeks, Challinor is hopeful that keeping a clean sheet against Gillingham can renew confidence for his team after conceding seven goals in their previous two outings.

Having scored only once in three games since their 3-1 win over Grimsby at the start of February, Challinor’s next hope for his side is that they rediscover their touch in front of goal as they look to confirm automatic promotion to League One by the end of the season.

Challinor said: “After the last two games, we got back to where we were defensively and I thought we were really good there today.

“I’ve been critical of the team and they’ve been critical of themselves at times; we’ve got to be better and we were tonight and that gives us a platform to go on and get a result. If you’re not going to defend properly and to the level consistently then you’re going to struggle to win games.

“Before the game, would I have taken the point? No because I want to win, but will I have taken a clean sheet as a minimum? Absolutely.

“We needed to find that moment of quality. In fact, we found moments of quality but not moments of quality that gets us the goal, if that would have been the case it would have been the perfect away performance, but we’ll take that point.”

Each team had their chances at Priestfield Stadium but neither team were able to find the cutting edge to end the encounter with three points in hand.

Stockport did have a late opportunity to return to the north-west as winners, although Paddy Madden’s shot was blocked by Gills defender Shadrach Ogie.

A point has now put Challinor’s team two points ahead of second-place Mansfield, who have a game in hand and will welcome Salford to One Call Stadium this Saturday.

Thanks to Crawley beating AFC Wimbledon 1-0, Gillingham have now moved to eighth in League Two and are level on points with Harrogate, with only goal difference separating Stephen Clemence’s team from a playoff berth.

Clemence said, in a video interview posted by Gillingham on X: “It’s a very difficult game, they’re the top scorers in the division so we knew we had to be spot on defensively.

“They tested us at times but I don’t think they threatened us too much – one or two shots, and they hit the post with a wide free-kick that was probably a cross.

“Defensively we were very, very sound and we had to work hard for the clean sheet so I’m really proud of the boys’ efforts tonight.

“Yeah, we didn’t create enough ourselves, but we were better in the second half than the first and that’s a good point there today.”

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