‘They tend to play with freedom... there’s only one way they can go’ - Connolly on Ipswich return

Callum Connolly was on loan at Ipswich last season. Picture PA

Callum Connolly was on loan at Ipswich last season. Picture PA - Credit: PA Archive/PA Images

Callum Connolly expects to take on an Ipswich Town side ‘playing with freedom’ when he makes his return to Portman Road tomorrow afternoon.

Callum Connolly, celebrating his goal at Derby last season. Picture: PAGEPIX

Callum Connolly, celebrating his goal at Derby last season. Picture: PAGEPIX - Credit: Pagepix Ltd

The youngster spent last season on loan in Suffolk, making 35 appearances and scoring four goals during his temporary switch from Everton, and is now with Wigan on a similar basis.

The Latics, currently 16th in the Championship, have failed to beat the likes of Bolton, Reading, Millwall and Preston when taking on struggling sides of late and Connolly is expecting a tough afternoon.

MORE: ‘He’s a diamond of a human being’ - Oxford boss wants to sign Ipswich loanee Graham on January 1“There’s a lot of pressure on the shoulders of the team at the bottom of the league at any stage in the season, but they tend to play with freedom because they know there’s only one way they can go,” Connolly said.

“We’ve played QPR and Preston at times when they were both really struggling. At the time those results really hurt us and the supporters, but we use them to learn and we definitely approach games with a better mentality now.

“As long as we approach games 100% committed, we’re confident we’ll pick up results. You can’t expect to win games in this division, you have to earn it.”

MORE: A board member, a returning winger and one that got away - the many Ipswich links in the Wigan sideReflecting on his loan spell with the Blues Connolly, who has played at full-back, central defence and midfield for his new club this season, said: “I’m looking forward to seeing a lot of the lads I played with last season and Portman Road is a great place to play football.

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“I had a great season there last season, but things have started to change since then. There was a change in manager over the summer and then again during this season, so that’s always going to be difficult, especially when different managers want to play different players.

“Five or six players came in and it’s proved difficult for them to adapt. They found it really tough at the start, but I actually think they’re finding their feet under Paul Lambert and I don’t think it will be long until they start to catch up with the pack of teams above them.”

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Connolly was speaking to Wigan’s official podcast, Latics Listen

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