Stockport County skipper hails manager’s ‘tactical genius’ after scooping Player of the Season award

By Matt Davies

Skipper Joe Connor hailed Stockport County’s manager Jim Gannon after being named Blue Square Premier Player of the Season at the North West Football Awards last night.

Connor joined Stockport in December 2011, following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather in pulling on the team’s colours and believes the influence of Gannon has improved his game.

He returned from playing college football at Lee University, Tennessee, and thinks the influence of Gannon has improved his game.

“He’s very tactical and we watch lots of video so he’s built that side of my game up – awareness of what’s going on, not just in my game but in the players around me, in knowing what they should be doing and what positions they should be in,” he said.

“It’s unbelievable, nothing gets past him [Gannon] and he sees everything that happens on the field so it’s making me more aware of the game as well.”

Connor was pleased with his sides’ solid start to the season and believes there is no reason why County cannot target the play-offs if they can have a good run of form.

“I feel it’s been going well, we’re just missing that little killer instinct to keep a clean sheet or to get the extra goal that would get us the extra points that would mean we’d be in a play-off position now, but we’re working on it,” he said.

“I think if we can just straighten up one or two things, and the manager will do that, he’ll get the players doing what they’re supposed to do.”

“We’re a hard team to beat,” added the defender.

“When you look at our team and the players we’ve got, and you look at some of the other teams that are spending a lot of money, on paper it’s not realistic [to reach the play-offs].

“But I’ve played against every team in the conference now and on any day any team can beat anyone.”

Connor also believes the Hatter’s are in with a good chance in the FA Trophy after being drawn at home to Ossett Town in the next round.

“We’re out of the FA Cup but in the FA Trophy that’s just got drawn we’ve got one of the lower league teams,” he said.

“It will be nice to get a good run in the FA Trophy because you play at Wembley at the end of that and the fans have had nothing to shout about the last few years so hopefully we’ll get a good cup run.”

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