Aaron Connolly wants to hit the ground running having completed his loan move to Middlesbrough.
Connolly, 21, has claimed he wants to enjoy football under Chris Wilder and is hoping to start scoring goals again after a dry spell with parent club Brighton & Hove Albion.
“I want to get back to enjoying football, help Middlesbrough and score goals,” said Connolly, via the BBC.
“Hopefully at the end of the season that could lead to maybe; going up a division, challenging in the play-offs, or even automatic.
“I’m here as a Middlesbrough player, I want to help them and who knows what is going to happen?”
Connolly has struggled for goals and even game time under Graham Potter this season. The Irish international made a rare start against Wolves in December but didn’t last the full 90 minutes in what would be his last appearance before moving to Wilder’s side.
Connolly was complimentary of Wilder’s tactics, having faced his Sheffield United side in the Premier League.
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“I’ve played against the gaffer’s teams when he was at Sheffield United and I see how he played, everyone liked the way he played so it didn’t take much,” added Connolly.
Connolly has fallen out of favour with his parent club. He made 17 league appearances in 2020-21, but only played four times in the league this campaign. Brighton are ninth in the Premier League.
Middlesbrough are currently seventh in the Championship, one point away from the play-off places. The Boro have a game in hand on sixth place Huddersfield Town and are in the middle of a three game winning streak under their new manager.
Middlesbrough’s next game comes away to Mansfield Town in the FA Cup Third Round on January 8.
Their league campaign resumes with a home game against Reading on January 15.
Connolly will need to prove himself at this level if he is to get another chance with high-flying Brighton.
Wilder has had success with Irish strikers before, with David McGoldrick leading the line of his Sheffield United side in the Premier League.
Connolly was known for scoring goals at underage level, so he will need to re-find that form if he is to help Middlesbrough in their bid to gain promotion to the Premier League.