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"A weight off my shoulders," says Mahoney after first strike

Winger speaks after netting opening Lions goal...

2 January 2020

It's been an up-and-down Millwall career for Connor Mahoney so far - but the winger is currently experiencing the biggest upward curve during his time in SE16 so far right now.

A 71st-minute substitute for Aiden O'Brien, with the New Year's Day contest against Luton Town locked at 1-1, Mahoney took just seven minutes to jink past The Hatters defence and blast home his first goal for the club, before setting up Matt Smith with a delightful cross just three minutes later.

The 22-year-old burst on to the scene after his summer arrival from AFC Bournemouth, but has found the last couple of months hard going - Mahoney, however, couldn't hide his delight after his Man of the Match performance against Graeme Jones' basement boys.

"It's probably the best 30 minutes I've played for a while. To come on, score and get an assist, I'm delighted with that and the lads are for me, too," he told millwallfc.co.uk.

"That's a big three points in the season, not just coming back from 1-0 down to win, but backing up the Brentford victory as well. It's a big morale-booster for us all."

Having not started a game since the corresponding fixture at Kenilworth Road in October, Mahoney was eager to get on to the pitch against Luton, and explained what manager Gary Rowett instructed him to do shortly before his introduction, as well as how his goal allowed him the "confidence" to set up Smith's sixth goal of the campaign.

"The manager told me to get out there and make a difference, make an impact, and try to get a goal or assist. Luckily, I did that, so he's happy.

"It's definitely a weight lifted from my shoulders. I wanted to create goals as well as score goals, hopefully I can carry this on now on Saturday, and then we can go to Stoke and claim another three points.

"My confidence was sky high after I scored, so you try things that you wouldn't usually do. It was a great ball in from me and Smudge was there to head it home. When he's in the box he needs that quality service, and when he's there, he scores goals."

There may be a chance for the young winger to start on Saturday as The Lions welcome Sky Bet League Two side Newport County to The Den in the Third Round of the Emirates FA Cup.

"Myself, Aiden [O'Brien], Jiri [Skalak], we're all fighting for that spot, but the most important thing is that we keep winning, whoever is on that side. Good performances and getting three points - that's all that matters.

"We'll be in for the next couple of days preparing for Saturday. We'll put a good team out and hopefully get through to the next round."


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