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Mark Connolly ‘open’ to Dunfermline stay as on-loan Dundee United ace laughs off cryptic Twitter post

Connolly thanks the travelling fans
Connolly thanks the travelling fans

Mark Connolly insists he is open to an extended stay at Dunfermline if first-team opportunities are scarce at Dundee United in January.

Connolly, 29, has been a superb capture by the Pars since arriving on loan in September, bringing experience and leadership to a previously porous back-line.

He turned in towering performances in victories over Inverness and Ayr United and can be considered one of the few players to receive pass marks in Saturday’s 1-0 defeat at Hamilton.

Connolly caused a few hearts to skip a beat among the Dunfermline faithful when he recently tweeted: “Thank you @officialdafc for allowing me to come on loan!

“With recent developments this club is 100% on the up! Hard work will get it to where everyone’s believes it should be! Don’t stop supporting and keep believing.”

Some saw it as a farewell — before Connolly swiftly made it clear he was going nowhere.

And he could yet see out the season at East End Park.

“I don’t really go on Twitter,” laughed the experienced centre-back. “I just thought I’d take the chance to thank the club for allowing me to come. I’m here until January.”

Extended stay?

Asked whether his deal could be extended for the remainder of the campaign, at least, he continued: “It’s something I’m open to.

“I’ll take it a step at a time but if Dunfermline want to keep me and my options at Dundee United aren’t there, I’d definitely consider it.

“I’ve really enjoyed it here — the manager has come in and I’ve enjoyed working with him.

Connolly receives guidance from Hughes

“I’m just desperate, from now until the January 16, to get results.

“That feeling when we won against Inverness and Ayr — the lift it gave everyone; the boys; the fans; the club — was brilliant.

“Whereas, it’s very difficult when you’re not winning games and when we lose, I overthink it. I don’t really speak to my missus!

“I just want to win football matches and get results for this club.”

Mindset

While only on loan in Fife, there are few players more visibly determined to drive Dunfermline up the table than Connolly. His passion shines through.

And he is adamant successive narrow defeats against Accies and Partick Thistle have done nothing to dampen the excitement and belief following the appointment of John Hughes as manager.

Next Saturday’s visit of Queen of the South — with whom the Pars are level on points at the bottom of the Championship — now looms large.

“The manager has come in and changed the mindset,” said Connolly. “He has brought a big lift to the boys and to the club.

“The fans have bought into what he is bringing and what he is doing.

“We can’t let that fall away after a defeat on Saturday. Nothing changes — we work hard, roll our sleeves up and keep going. We can’t feel sorry for ourselves and point fingers.

“It’s about grinding and getting results.”

Dom Thomas could be sidelined for ‘foreseeable future’ as John Hughes accuses referee of ‘guessing’ in Dunfermline defeat

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