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Aaron Connolly outlines his intentions ahead of Middlesbrough’s trip to Mansfield

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Middlesbrough travel to face Mansfield Town in third round of the FA Cup on Saturday lunchtime.

Nigel Clough’s men have been in sensational form and have given their season a completely new outlook by winning ten of their last 11 games in all competitions.

The Stags are large outsiders in preparing to host in-form Boro, but will be quietly of confident of testing Chris Wilder’s men and making it an uncomfortable afternoon at the least.

Brighton and Hove Albion loanee Aaron Connolly is likely to make his debut in the cup tie and stressed the importance that Boro do not suffer a giant-killing when he spoke to TeessideLive.

He said: “From our perspective it’s just another game I guess, and another game for us to try and get a win and progress to the next round. Hopefully I get my debut and get off to a good start for Middlesbrough. Every club that goes into the FA Cup will want to avoid that giant-killing that seems to happen in every season. But I’m sure the boys are all professional enough to know that this is just another game and it doesn’t matter who the opposition is, we just want to keep winning.

“Winning this game will help the club’s good run keep going so we won’t go into it lightly. I do hope I’m selected and I’m really looking forward to it now.”

Connolly has been in and out of the first team at Brighton in recent years and will be hoping to show the Seagulls what they are missing in this loan spell. The Republic of Ireland international could make a positive start to that task at the OneCall Stadium, with Wilder likely to shuffle his pack to hand out opportunities to some of the fringe players at the club.

The Verdict

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Martín Payero?

You can tell just by his words how hungry Connolly is to make a success of this loan move. Given Brighton’s attacking frustrations, particularly last season, some may be surprised not to have seen the 21-year-old establish himself as the club’s first choice marksman but Neal Maupay’s return to form this term weakened his first team prospects on the South Coast.

Chris Wilder and Isaiah Jones won monthly awards for December and are in a great position to kick on in 2022. The early signs have been incredibly encouraging from the former Sheffield United manager on Teesside and an FA Cup run could further convince supporters that he is the man to take them back to the Premier League.


Passionate Football League obsessive and long-suffering Charlton Athletic supporter.

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Article title: Aaron Connolly outlines his intentions ahead of Middlesbrough’s trip to Mansfield

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