City defender determined to grab top flight chanceCity defender Matt Connolly is relishing life back in the Barclays Premier League having featured in the Bluebirds’ opening two games against West Ham and Manchester City.
Connolly arrived at Cardiff City Stadium in 2012 from Queens Park Rangers after making just six outings in the top flight with the R’s following their promotion in 2010-11. Now back in the Barclays Premier League, Connolly is determined to keep his place in the side for the season ahead.
“It’s fantastic, I’ve waited for this chance for a while now,” said Connolly. “I’ve been promoted a few times and now to finally play in pleasing. I just want to make sure I’m doing it every week, which means maintaining the required standards.
“I can’t speak for everybody obviously, but I put pressure on myself to perform every game. I know John Brayford has come in and he’s a very good player.”
Connolly’s fantastic performance alongside his fellow defenders saw the Bluebirds’ to a memorable 3-2 victory over Manchester City last Sunday, a win accompanied by quite the backing track from a passionate home support.
It’s an atmosphere that was well documented across the media following the result and Connolly called for Bluebirds everywhere to continue that ferocity of backing throughout the season.
“The fans have been tremendous ever since I’ve been here, they were fantastic last season and pushed us on to the Championship title,” Matt continued. “We’ll need them again this campaign.
“The atmosphere on Sunday was incredible, probably the best I’ve played in, in my career I think. The fans were tremendous; even when we went a goal down they raised the levels and got right behind the team. That helped us I think massively.
“It’s up to the players to get the fans going though and in the first five minutes or so against Manchester City we really made our intentions clear. If we do that again tomorrow then I’m sure the fans will bring the same atmosphere again.”
Connolly knows what it takes to beat the Toffees having been a part of the QPR side that travelled to Goodison Park in 2011 and claimed a 1-0 win.
But the London born defender knows City will be up against a tough outfit in the form of Roberto Martinez’s side at Cardiff City Stadium this weekend.
“Whenever you play Everton you know that they’re a side who have got good players and a good team,” he said. “They have a new manager so may play a different style. It’ll be a tough physical game but we’re ready for the challenge.
“We’ll always work hard. I think that’s one of our strongest assets and when we get the ball we’ll go out to get the goals we need to win the game.”
WATCH MATT CONNOLLY AND MALKY MACKAY'S PRE-MATCH PRESS CONFERENCE BELOW.