Tuesday 25 July 2017

Irish U-19 starlet Ronan will go far - Lambert

Wolves boss Paul Lambert is full of praise for Irish U-19 international Connor Ronan. Photo: Sportsfile
Wolves boss Paul Lambert is full of praise for Irish U-19 international Connor Ronan. Photo: Sportsfile
Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

Paul Lambert believes that Wolves' breakthrough star Connor Ronan has the mentality to deliver on his serious potential.

The Irish U-19 international has earned rave reviews for his full league debut against Sheffield Wednesday on Monday and Lambert, who is a big fan of the Rochdale-born attacking midfielder, was thrilled by the player's mindset under pressure.

He expects the player to advance to bigger and better things along with his fellow academy graduate Bright Enobakhare although he is likely to miss today's FA Cup tie with Stoke due to an ankle problem.

"Their performances have been exceptional and they've earned the right to play," said the Wolves boss, when asked about Ronan's nerveless display in the scoreless draw against Wednesday.

"You can have a great talent, but mentally not be able to handle it. But if you can handle a crowd of 30,000 people watching you and you're willing to get on the ball, then that takes bravery.

"The two of them have done it, they're excellent footballers that can get better and better."

Dubliner Matt Doherty also feels that Rochdale-born Ronan has the strength to survive in the adult game.

"He's a very good player, he played on the left ahead of me," said the Wolves full-back. "He's small but a strong runner, he's got ability on the ball and takes good set-pieces. And he looks strong, if you see his legs.

"He's able to cope with a few late tackles like he received on Monday. That's what happens in this league. But he looked very comfortable against a good Sheffield Wednesday team."

Elsewhere, Richie Towell will be in cup action for Brighton today after Chris Hughton confirmed he will feature at some stage against MK Dons.

Towell has been confined to U-23 appearances this term and has scored twice in the Checkatrade Trophy but a pre-season injury ruled him out of the start of the league season and he has only made it as far as the bench at Championship level.

"We look forward to seeing him in the game," Hughton told RTé. "It's been difficult for Richie, because of the competition that he has for places in his position.

"We were looking forward to the pre-season, to giving him a lot of games in the position we want him to play in and he got injured and missed a fair chunk of that period, which set him back a little bit.

"But he's been very much in and around it. At times he's been on the bench. Very much close to that first-team squad but just found it difficult to get the games that he would like."

Ex-Bohemians loanee Graham Carey is excited ahead of Plymouth's big day at Anfield. The childhood Liverpool fan is a big player for the League Two outfit.

"I have been there for Europa League games and the Kop is electric. It's going to be a great occasion, but we know there is a job to do at the end of the day," said the Dubliner who will be cheered on by 8,500 travelling fans.

Meanwhile, at home, Bray Wanderers have completed a deal to sign Anto Flood after his return to Ireland.

He helped St Patrick's Athletic win the title in 2013 before emigrating to Australia where he played football in their regional leagues below A League level.

League champions Dundalk are on the verge of signing Jamie McGrath from St Pat's if a compensation figure can be agreed.

Irish Independent

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