Stockport desperate to appoint a winner

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Managerless Stockport County handed Walsall their first away win of the First Division season in front of the lowest Edgeley Park gate of the campaign – 4,553 – on Tuesday night.

"I've never wanted to be a manager because it doesn't appeal, and tonight has shown me why," said the County caretaker manager Craig Madden, who reluctantly took on the job when the club parted company with Andy Kilner at the beginning of the week. "You could see tonight the players were very disappointed by what has happened. They were all very flat and didn't show anything, unlike the players I know."

The Stockport chairman, Brendan Elwood, confirmed that the club had already received numerous applications for the manager's post. "We want a winner first and foremost because we're desperate to get some victories," he said.

County visit Preston at the weekend and Elwood added: "I cannot believe the quality of the people who have thrown their hats in the ring, but I don't think we will be appointing anyone before Saturday unless something drastic happens."

The Wimbledon manager, Terry Burton, exonerated his striker David Connolly of any blame after watching his side throw away a two-goal lead for the second successive match. The Dons were on the receiving end of a 3-2 defeat at Rotherham on Saturday, despite having led 2-0. Against Bradford City on Tuesday, Burton's side led 2-0 and then 3-1 before having to settle for a 3-3 draw.

The Republic of Ireland international Connolly scored twice but also missed two good chances. The turning point of the match came in the 76th minute when Connolly rounded goalkeeper Gary Walsh only to fire wide – and within 60 seconds the Bantams had pulled the score back to 3-2 courtesy of Eoin Jess's ninth goal of the season. The comeback was completed four minutes later when Andy Tod grabbed his second of the night.

However, Burton said: "He [Connolly] has been outstanding – he was the best player on the pitch by far. Although I am disappointed he hasn't got his hat-trick, you cannot ask any more of a player than to score two goals away from home."

The imminent Bradford signing Juanjo was paraded in front of a season-high Valley Parade crowd of 18,225 before kick-off, with the free transfer from manager Jim Jefferies' old club Hearts set to put pen to paper on a two-and-a-half-year contract today. "He could have gone to another Premiership club in Scotland or two other First Division clubs, so I am delighted that he has joined us," Jefferies said.

Birmingham drew 1-1 with Portsmouth at Fratton Park. The visitors' manager Graham Rix said: "I regard this as two points lost but it was still a good result against a team of Birmingham's quality."

The Norwich manager, Nigel Worthington, claimed Phil Mulryne's goals were "long overdue" after the Northern Ireland international struck twice to give his team a 2-0 win against Grimsby at Blundell Park. "I've just told him he can't hang up now on two goals, he's got to keep going," Worthington said. The defeat was Grimsby's seventh league loss in eight games, and their manager Lennie Lawrence said: "We're just inconsistent and unable to maintain the standards."

The Watford manager, Gianluca Vialli, believes there is plenty more to come from his side after their 2-0 victory at Sheffield United. "We need to take it from here and get a few more good results before I feel happier. There's still a long way to go," he said. The former Watford player and now Sheffield United defender, Robert Page, said: "It would have been nice to get a result – against Watford in particular – but it wasn't to be."

Gillingham let a two-goal lead slip and had to be content with a 2-2 draw against Burnley at Priestfield. "I don't think we played very well at times. We were 2-0 up but seemed to play fear football," said manager Andy Hessenthaler.

The Crewe manager, Dario Gradi, said he was "happy" with a point after his team's 2-2 draw at Rotherham but his opposite number, Ronnie Moore, said he was "disappointed" with the result.

Comments