Stockport County’s Joe Connor – “Newport game is must win”

By Steven Oldham, Sports Correspondent 

Stockport County midfielder Joe Connor says this weekend’s home game against Newport County is a must win as the club attempt to climb the Blue Square Premier league table. 

County host Newport on the back of three unbeaten games which has seen them beat play-off chasing Kidderminster Harriers and draw with AFC Telford and Braintree Town. 

The club are in the Blue Square Premier for the first time this season and are attempting to avoid a third successive relegation.

Joe said: “The Newport game is a must win game.  It’s a massive six pointer.”

Newport are just two points behind County in the table, in the first of the relegation spots.  A win for County would do them the world of good in terms of escaping the drop. 

Connor- who became a dad for the second time on Tuesday – believes the Hatters can do this and push on through the remainder of the season. 

“I think we should win.  I go into every game expecting to win and I think a few more of the lads are starting to think that.  It’s showing in our performance.”  

“We should be talking about three wins on the trot – although we showed great character against Braintree and Telford to come back from 2-0 down to get a point.”

He is also positive about the display against Kidderminster which saw County secure three points against a team chasing promotion via the play-offs. 

He said: “I didn’t know how good they were going to be – the last team we played at that end of the league was Luton and we gave them a real game of it so I knew we could get a result.”

By the time the game kicks off at Edgeley Park on Saturday, County will have gone two weeks without a game – their scheduled opponents last weekend, Alfreton Town, were meant to be involved in an FA Trophy game against Gateshead but the game was postponed due to the freezing weather.

However, Director of Football James Gannon has made sure the squad are still fit – they’ve been doing a lot of running, and Joe admits the team were tired after a week’s hard training. 

Connor hit the second of his two goals for the club in the Braintree draw but he fondly remembers scoring his first in the 3-2 win over Barrow on New Year’s Day, although he admits it wasn’t a classic. 

“It was great to score at Edgeley Park in front of fans who have supported the team for a long time.  I have family who are season ticket holders here.”

“When the ball just about crept over the line I thought about a shot I should have put away the week before!”

Stockport host Newport on Saturday at Edgeley Park with kick off at 3pm.

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