Pompey loanee plots path to calmer waters

Connor Ronan. Picture: Joe Pepler
Connor Ronan. Picture: Joe Pepler
The late Ray Wilkins. Picture: Lauren Hurley/PA Images

Former Pompey midfielder pays heartfelt tribute to Wilkins

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Connor Ronan is in uncharted territory.

The Wolves loanee has needed to guide himself through some stormy weather since arriving at Pompey in January.

But the promising midfielder is now hopeful he can plot a course to calmer end-of-season waters for both himself and his current club.

The 20-year-old is currently undertaking his first loan spell in football, after agreeing a January stay at Fratton Park until the end of the campaign. It’s been a new experience for the promising Republic of Ireland under-21 international to become accustomed to.

Ronan has made a favourable impression with supporters but admitted the move has come with a period of adjustment for him. Now, though, he is settled in his new environment and ready to break new ground over the remainder of the season.

Ronan said: ‘This is my first loan move.

‘I’ve been in and out of the Wolves team but I’ve never had a run in a team where if I’m not starting I’ve felt I’d be coming on. I haven’t really had that, so it was a case of adapting to that at first and getting fully fit.

‘Now I’m fit I think I’m just looking forward to a run in the team and trying to show what I can do.

‘I want to help the team out as well, though.

‘Not starting every game has helped with the adjustment, as much as I would like to start every game.

‘Being on the bench now and again has helped.

‘I’m not a player who’s been playing every week, so when I came I needed to build my fitness up first to get a run in the team.

‘But now I feel I can contribute every week.’

Ronan’s Pompey stay has returned five starts and five appearances off the bench ahead of the meeting of Oldham.

That’s something the Republic of Ireland under-21 international is pleased with after making 13 Wolves appearances and three under-21 outings in the Checkatrade Trophy.

Ronan said: ‘It’s what I came here to do. I came here to play football and that’s what I’ve done.

‘I’ve got those games in, a few starts and a few games off the bench.

‘For me, in my mind, I want to start as many games as possible now.

‘It is a positive for me but I want to start winning games now and help the team out.’

Ronan’s first playing experience of League One has also been an education for the slightly-built talent.

It’s something he feels he’s adapted to well enough.

‘I’ve watched a lot of League One and League Two football with being a Rochdale fan,’ he added.

‘It’s not the same as playing it but you know it’s going to be a physical game.

‘The standard’s there as well and quality of football is there.

‘So it’s just a case of trying to find that balance between physicality and quality.

‘I think I’ve coped with that okay. I feel it’s just a case of bettering myself now and getting better with every game and performance.’