Chris Wilder has revealed that he believes Middlesbrough fans will love Aaron Connolly ahead of his debut against Mansfield in the FA Cup.
Connolly joined on loan from Brighton until the end of the season and is in line to make his Boro debut at Mansfield Town on Saturday afternoon, with Chris Wilder confident of the 21-year-old making an impact.
There are limited options available to Wilder due to a Covid outbreak at the club which could mean Connolly comes in for his full debut.
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Connolly found his game time at Brighton limited this season but that hasn’t stopped Wilder from praising his new striker.
He told The Gazette: “I’m excited about Aaron and what he can give us for the second half of the season.
“I’ve spoken to him at length and he’s got a little bit of the eye of the tiger in him. He’s not come here for three or four months just to take it easy and chill out.
“He wants to do well, personally and from a team point of view. He’s a team player and he’s got attributes that will add to our group and make us better.”
Wilder also went onto say that Connolly’s personality and attitude will be a hit with supporters:
Discussing the striker’s approach to the game, the ‘Boro boss added: “He wants to do well for himself, but he’s also been clear that he wants to help the team continue the positive run we’ve been on recently.
“I think the supporters will really like his attitude and the way he plays the game and hopefully he adds to the top of the pitch to a group of players who have done ok to good so far.”
To date, Connolly has scored a total of eight goals in 52 first-team appearances in all competitions for Brighton.
Middlesbrough supporters will surely like what Chris Wilder is saying about their new striker.
Loan deals can be met with scepticism from supporters particularly when the chances of a permanent deal are low.
But with Wilder digging deep into his new man, Boro fans can trust his judgement as well as his glowing reference and hope Connolly can score the goals to get them into the playoffs.
If he is able to do that, then there can be no doubt that Connolly will be a big hit at The Riverside Stadium, and Wilder will have completed another impressive piece of business.