Conners' Honour

David Connolly says it it was a boost to receive the Evening Standard player of the month award - even though he wasn't expecting it.

David was given the award for January on account of his consistency - and goals - in the face of tough competition, and he says:

"That was nice and a bit of a surprise."

Typically self-critical, though, he adds:

"I didn't play well on Saturday in what was a tough game on a dodgy pitch - but everyone has them."

David says Bradford were not easy to break down and adds:

"They are a good side, they played well, and they made it hard for us, so it was a difficult three points.

"It was difficult for Jobi in his first start and we didn't play particularly well in the first half, but credit to Bradford for the way they played before the break; they did play well in the first half.

"In the second half we did step it up a bit and Stephen Bywater kept us in the game with some great saves."

Despite his striking role, or perhaps because of it, he is full of praise for Steve Bywater for his performances since coming into the side, and he says:

"He has been playing really, really well, and it gave us the chance to go and nick a win on Saturday."

He has shown no nerves since returning to action and adds:

"He is capable of it anyway and he just needs the games; he has proven just what a good goalkeeper he is in the past few weeks and he has pulled off save after save.

"He is a top drawer keeper so there aren't going to be any nerves from him."

David acknowledges that the players needed a gee-up at half time after going in 1-0 down, and reveals:

"The manager had some harsh words to say to knock us into shape and it did the trick because we picked it up a little bit."

David knows there is a really intense battle for a place up front, and adds:

"Bobby came in and got his goal; it is always nice to get off the mark at a new club and that put us back in the game, while Marlon weighed in with the second.

"All the strikers provide good competition for places, which is what you need."

As for the departure of Jermain Defoe, he adds:

"It is a shame because he is such a talented player and it was a definite blow to lose Jermain - but we have to get on with it and there are plenty of other good strikers.

"He was going to move at some stage and we have Bobby in now so there is still the same complement of strikers vying for places."