Frustrated Connell reluctantly accepts Bantams bit-part role but admits: I just want to play football (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Frustrated Alan Connell reluctantly accepts Bantams bit-part role but admits: I just want to play football
Alan Connell makes his usual appearance off the bench, this time as a 79th-minute substitute in the 1-1 draw against Leyton Orient
There’s nothing Alan Connell would like more than a proper reunion with Swindon tomorrow.
By that, the City striker means a decent run-out at Valley Parade rather than his usual cameo as a sub late in the game.
But Connell has accepted that a bench role is the norm. When he faces the club where he won a League Two championship medal before heading north, it is likely to be on replacement duties.
“It’s frustrating, very frustrating,” he admitted. “I don’t like not playing football but I’ve kind of got used to the situation.
“Last season we had a lot of games. I didn’t play as much as I wanted but I got a fair bit.
“This year’s been very frustrating because we’ve only had the league really.
“I want to play football.
I miss playing on a Saturday and getting ten minutes here and there isn’t what I want to do.
“I’m obviously employed by the club and I’ll always work hard. I love playing for this club but the key word is playing.
“I love being at the club, I love the boys and the supporters. Everything is great except I just want to play more.
“But the situation is what it is and I’ll just see what happens in the future.
“There’s obviously a reason I’m not playing but that’s for other people to judge. I just try my best every day and if it’s not good enough, it’s not good enough.”
Connell turned down a loan move to Plymouth on geographical grounds but with City looking to balance the budget, his position could be back in the spotlight when the transfer window reopens on Wednesday.
Before then, Swindon’s visit will rekindle fond memories of his time there under the madcap management of Paolo Di Canio.
Connell added: “Playing under Paolo had its moments and some days were difficult.
“It was a real test of your mental strength but I learned a hell of a lot. He improved me a lot as a footballer.
“There were a few incidents here and there but you just got on with it. We had some funny moments as well.
“You literally went in each day not knowing what was going to happen. Something would always go off.
“I started 25 games at Swindon so I was in and out. But that was the same for pretty much everyone because he was always rotating the team.
“But ultimately we were successful and that’s what it’s all about. I finished top goalscorer, got a league winner’s medal and was a JPT runner-up after playing at Wembley as well.”
Swindon are a very different outfit since the Italian’s departure. The current team under Mark Cooper has few survivors from the one that celebrated the title at Valley Parade 19 months ago.
Connell said: “There’s been a huge turnaround. I think they cut-back on finances to start with and there aren’t many people left from my time.
“I played with the goalkeeper, Wes Foderingham, and a couple of the others but the rest is all change.
“But they are a very good footballing side and pass the ball a lot. I think they could well challenge the top six this season.
“When they are on their day, they can probably hammer teams by four or five, so it’s going to be a really difficult game for us.”
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