Mickey Lewis salutes loan star David Connolly + VIDEO

Mickey Lewis gives David Connolly a well-deserved hug after his debut goal helped Oxford United beat AFC Wimbledon

Mickey Lewis gives David Connolly a well-deserved hug after his debut goal helped Oxford United beat AFC Wimbledon

First published in Football
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The Oxford Times: Photograph of the Author by , Chief Sports Reporter covering Oxford United. Follow us on twitter: @oxfordmailoufc. Call me on 01865 425458

MICKEY Lewis hailed David Connolly’s class as the new signing gave Oxford United victory over AFC Wimbledon.

The veteran, who joined on loan until the end of the season on transfer deadline day, came off the bench to score a debut goal.

His precise lob ensured a 2-1 win for the U’s, taking them back into the automatic promotion places.

Connolly was the first signing under Lewis, and the caretaker manager felt the former Republic of Ireland international had made a big impact already.

He said: “David Connolly’s 36, he’s got great ability and all that, but he’s prepared to run in behind people to get the goal.

The Oxford Times:

  • David Connolly slots home

“It was the right run at the right time and he took it brilliantly.

“I thought he showed what a class player he is.”

He added: “He’s got a reputation as a really good player, so all the lads know that.

“But when they saw him in training for the first time it gave everyone a lift.”

Results at the Kassam Stadium have been hard to come by over the last couple of seasons, holding United back.

This victory, coming a week after beating Torquay United 1-0, was the first time they had won successive home games since August 2012.

“It’s a really big win,” Lewis said “You can’t hide it, the home record isn’t great, so if we can build on that and keep the away form going it all bodes well.”

The Oxford Times:

  • Mickey Lewis celebrates with his Oxford United players

Chairman Ian Lenagan has made it clear there will be no rush to appoint a successor to Chris Wilder, but if United can stay in the top three the momentum will gather behind keeping Lewis in charge.

When asked about the situation, the caretaker manager stressed his focus was much more short-term.

He said: “Just to sound totally and utterly like a complete bore, I’m just worrying about the next game at Bury.”

  • Match highlights via United's Youtube channel

The gate saw several hundred more home fans on Saturday than had attended Wilder’s last game in charge.

There was plenty of vocal backing for the team, but also for Lewis personally.

“It was really touching and hopefully it drives me and all the players on,” he said.

“The fans were absolutely brilliant all the way through.

“It was a great reception before, during and after the game.

“Especially when we were under pressure, which we were at times, the fans kept us going and we really appreciate that.”

Comments (1)

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10:26am Mon 3 Feb 14

Richard Wickson says...

Although in the end the result was close, and for the first 20 minutes Wimbledon had the upper hand, with a much re-organised team due to all the injuries particularly in defence, this was a decent performance.
Young Bevans gave a good account of himself, Newey with his goal, well done to him, was as solid as ever. Connolly came on and made a difference and I don't just mean his goal that was total class.
Probably the only negatives were Riggs injury, although a couple of weeks rest might benefit him as he hasn't been his usual self and Smalley, he really is low on confidence and I don't think it's the postings on here, he just doesn't have a footballing brain and I am not sure whether he has a future or not as a forward.
As Cheeky chap posted on another thread on here, the club could do worse than use Connollys obvious skill and experience to coach the forward players, not just the strikers. He showed movement and class that I haven't seen here for many years. They obviously need him on the pitch tho as his movement on and off the ball creates things, I know it was only a 44 minute cameo but he still has a turn of speed over shorter distances that makes a difference and catches defenders on the hop. I was disappointed that CW took Emile Sinclair to NTFC after pursuing him for us but Sinclair is still work in progress whereas Connolly is the complete package so thanks Chris, for starting the negotiations to bring him here, who knows he might last a season or too after this one and then stay as a coach, I believe he has some coaching badges. I know it was only brief and I am not one to get over excited but I do recognise skill when I see it.
Although in the end the result was close, and for the first 20 minutes Wimbledon had the upper hand, with a much re-organised team due to all the injuries particularly in defence, this was a decent performance. Young Bevans gave a good account of himself, Newey with his goal, well done to him, was as solid as ever. Connolly came on and made a difference and I don't just mean his goal that was total class. Probably the only negatives were Riggs injury, although a couple of weeks rest might benefit him as he hasn't been his usual self and Smalley, he really is low on confidence and I don't think it's the postings on here, he just doesn't have a footballing brain and I am not sure whether he has a future or not as a forward. As Cheeky chap posted on another thread on here, the club could do worse than use Connollys obvious skill and experience to coach the forward players, not just the strikers. He showed movement and class that I haven't seen here for many years. They obviously need him on the pitch tho as his movement on and off the ball creates things, I know it was only a 44 minute cameo but he still has a turn of speed over shorter distances that makes a difference and catches defenders on the hop. I was disappointed that CW took Emile Sinclair to NTFC after pursuing him for us but Sinclair is still work in progress whereas Connolly is the complete package so thanks Chris, for starting the negotiations to bring him here, who knows he might last a season or too after this one and then stay as a coach, I believe he has some coaching badges. I know it was only brief and I am not one to get over excited but I do recognise skill when I see it. Richard Wickson
  • Score: 11

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