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Connolly out to make his mark at Oxford United
David Connolly is confident he can play his part in ensuring Oxford United achieve success this season.
The 36-year-old agreed a move to the Kassam Stadium yesterday, signing a deal that sees him join on loan from Portsmouth until May.
The former Republic of Ireland international, who won 41 caps for his country, has fallen out of favour at Fratton Park since the arrival of Richie Barker as manager.
But Connolly, who will wear No 24 for United and is set for his debut at home to AFC Wimbledon today, is optimistic that a move to Oxford will benefit both parties.
“I am really looking forward to it,” Connolly said.
“The club are in a very strong position and is set up for success and I want to play a part in that.”
Caretaker manager Mickey Lewis had been looking for a new front man, and was delighted with his capture.
“He is a good player and has scored goals wherever he has been,” Lewis said.
“Most of his career has been at the very highest level and he works hard, brings others into play and is always a player you have to guard against.
“He is here until the end of the season and I am sure will do very well for us.”
Connolly has made 323 career starts, scoring 141 goals.
He made his name at Wimbledon during July 2001-03, scoring 42 goals in 63 league appearances.
There followed moves to West Ham and Leicester, before Wigan paid £2m for the striker.
His time at the DW Stadium was not a success, however, and he then moved to Sunderland for £1.4m.
He left the Stadium of Light to join Southampton, and moved to Portsmouth in the summer.
United chairman Ian Lenagan added: “We have been looking for an additional striker throughout January with extra budget allocated.
“Oxford United have a great chance of promotion this year and this improves those chances.”