So here we are, a couple of months before the end of the season and we’re on course for a mid table finish. And yes, 11th position in the Conference North is not something which fans will look back on in years to come and be particularly proud of, it’s the lowest our club has ever finished. But there is one man who should be proud, Alan Lord. If things are to continue the way they have been then he will have stopped the rot, the losing culture which currently encompasses this club will have been lifted, and that is an achievement in itself, and it is something which Gannon even struggled to do in his 2nd spell with the club. I think most of us appreciate the job that Lord will have done come the end of the season, it’s not the promotion that we all wanted but it does shout stability. If we can keep the core of this season’s team together, then we SHOULD be looking at the play-offs (at least) next season.
Things to do change, however, we are Stockport County after all, and stability is something which does not come as easily to us as it does others, and whilst the rug could be pulled from under our feet at any moment (whether that’s McKnight, Sale Sharks, Kennedy or the shareholders), there are reasons to be cautiously optimistic. Help the Hatters have secured improved deals for Churchman, Lofthouse and Duxbury, players who will form the spine of the team next season, and the new Stockport consortium are waiting in the wings to help fortify the clubs off the pitch, I don’t know much about the make-up of the group but I can say confidently that they have the clubs best interests at heart, and that is something which will be invaluable in the future.
This season echoes the work done by Jim Gannon two years previously, where avoiding relegation was the main aim and the team looked to be taking a little bit of shape after a disastrous Tony Evans era. Hopefully this season and going into next, the hierarchy at the club will have learnt from their very apparent mistakes last season and give Lord the backing and support that he needs to propel us out of this division.
Us County fans could do with something to shout about, the support taken to both Bradford and Telford deserves something to shout about, and with the experience and passion that Alan Lord brings to the table, it’s looking almost rosy going forward (Fingers, toes and everything else crossed).