12th April 2015
ANTHONY O’Connor returned from injury to play a starring role in Argyle’s 2-1 victory over Mansfield Town, and the Irishman is keen to continue making an impact for the Pilgrims in any way possible.
The 22-year old started on the right side of three centre backs against the Stags after being forced to watch on, due to a groin injury, as the Greens took one point from games against Burton Albion and Portsmouth.
“I was gutted to miss the Burton and Portsmouth games – two massive games,” said Anthony.
“Obviously Burton are top of the league - in my eyes, they’re going to win the league - and Portsmouth speaks for itself; a big game with a big crowd. I was gutted to miss them but it’s football. It’s part and parcel of the game.
“I had a groin injury and there’s nothing I could do about it – if I played I might’ve made it worse. So I’m glad I’m back to full fitness now and I’m glad to win today, and hopefully I can be part of a successful team come the end of the season.”
Indeed, O’Connor has played many different parts in Argyle sides during this season, showing class and talent in a number of different roles. Whilst playing at centre half and breaking up play on many occasions against Mansfield, he showed his attacking qualities by heading home Argyle’s opening goal after just two minutes and, whilst Carl McHugh has been credited with the second goal, Anthony is adamant he got the final touch from a corner kick after 63 minutes.
Right wing back, left wing back, central midfield, holding midfield and centre back are all positions that O’Connor has excelled in this season, which he puts down to a mixture of nurturing his own ability and the trust placed upon him by manager John Sheridan.
“No matter where I play, I always feel comfortable,” he said. “I’m comfortable on the ball, I love tackling, love heading, so these are the attributes you have to have to play in any position.
“I feel like I’ve got a lot of attributes to my game and I think the gaffer knows that. I’m happy that he trusts me in so many positions. You won’t find a manger around that trusts you in so many positions.
“I don’t moan if he tells me he wants me to play somewhere; I just see it as a big compliment.”
The Cork man will carry that mentality into Argyle’s midweek game against AFC Wimbledon, where he may well find himself changing position again, thanks to Curtis Nelson’s return from suspension.
“Obviously on Tuesday, Nelson is back in the team, so wherever he puts me I will be happy to do my best for the team,” said Anthony.
“We know what they [Wimbledon] are all about and we know who they have got in their team, so they’re going to pose a threat in that area of the pitch, but we’ve got players more than capable of dealing with it.
“We went there earlier in the season and took a clean sheet from them, so hopefully we can do the same again Tuesday, put the ball in the back of their net and take three points.”