Blackpool new boy vows their impressive start won't go to the players' heads

Blackpool won’t be getting carried away by their positive start to the season, according to Callum Connolly.

Saturday, 14th August 2021, 12:30 pm

The Seasiders recorded their first win of the new campaign on Wednesday night, seeing off Middlesbrough in convincing fashion in their Carabao Cup first round tie.

Neil Critchley’s men, who opened their league account with a 1-1 draw at Bristol City last weekend, now switch their focus to today’s home game against Cardiff City.

“The Middlesbrough win was a great night overall for everyone,” Connolly said.

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“The lads that didn’t start on Saturday came into the team and did very good, but all the way through the team, everyone was very good.

“Everyone is building in confidence now and raring to go for Saturday.

“It’s a good start for us, but there’s always another game around the corner and everyone is focusing on that now.

“It’s a positive start to the season, but we’ve just got to go again against Cardiff.”

Connolly wasted no time in recording his first goal in tangerine, volleying home Pool’s opener during Wednesday night’s 3-0 win.

It comes after the former Everton and Fleetwood Town defender hit the post at Ashton Gate last weekend.

“Obviously we’re only a couple of games into the season but it’s always nice to get off the mark because I do like to chip in with the odd goal or two,” the 23-year-old added.

“It could have been two in two, but I’m just happy to get off the mark and to help us get the win in the cup.

“It was a tough game against Bristol City on Saturday, but it was even better against Middlesbrough – 3-0 and a clean sheet.

“We made seven changes but the lads that came in were very good. There were some top quality performances, I won’t name names but they know who they are.

“We’ve got a bit of competition in the squad now and it just stands us in good stead for the season.

“Everyone wants to start and it’s only going to breed good competition. Everyone is just excited for the season.”

Despite playing most of his football at centre-back or in central midfield before arriving at Bloomfield Road, Connolly has started at right-back in Blackpool’s opening games.

While he isn’t necessarily a natural in that position, the Liverpudlian feels he’s made a solid start.

“I’m enjoying it,” he said. “Obviously I’ve played a lot of positions during my career but I’m just enjoying it at right-back.

“The gaffer obviously wants me to play there, so I’ll put 110 per cent in for him and I’m looking forward to the remainder of the season.”

The Seasiders will now be aiming to claim their first league win of the season against Mick McCarthy’s Cardiff, a side that have been tipped by many to challenge for promotion to the Premier League this season.

Connolly said: “We can’t get too high off a win, there’s another league game to come so we’ll put this to bed.

“Everyone is happy in the changing room, but we’ll be straight back in recovering and just crack on for Saturday.

“It’s a big game against Cardiff at home, because it’s our first league game back at home.

“I played under Mick a lot during my time at Ipswich. He’s a great manager and he knows the game inside out.

“We know it’s going to be a competitive game. Cardiff are a strong team and they’ll be up there this year.

“In this league, everyone has some good individual players and the teams are a lot more competitive, a lot better on the ball, faster, quicker, stronger and so on.

“It’s going to be a test but we’re coming into this league confident and we’re just looking forward to the next game.”

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