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O'Connor: This is the place to be

The midfielder spoke to us following the announcement on Sunday that he would remain an Imp next season.

20 May 2019

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Michael O’Connor says he is excited by the prospect of returning to League One as an Imp after signing a new deal with the League Two champions.

The former Northern Ireland international put pen to paper at the weekend after featuring almost 50 times for the Imps last season.

O’Connor is pleased to remain at Sincil Bank explaining how after speaking to Danny and Nicky Cowley, he knew it was the right decision.

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“I am over the moon to have signed a new deal. I am coming into training with a smile on my face every day, everything is good here and it is a top place to be, I am really enjoying my football.” said the 31-year-old.

“I spoke to the gaffer a month before the end of the season and that was when I knew I wanted to stay because I am happy here.

"As soon as I knew the club wanted me to stay it took me 30 seconds to say yes, I just wanted to sign the new deal straight away.”

The midfielder continued by reflecting on his first season with the Imps after leaving Notts County in the summer of 2018: “I have enjoyed every minute since I arrived at the club and winning the league has obviously helped.

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“We have a good set of lads here and the training ground is top class, Danny and Nicky have been brilliant towards me as well.”

O’Connor scored three goals in all competitions for the Imps during the 2018/19 campaign.

The 31-year-old spoke highly of the atmosphere around the city after winning the League Two title.

“I remember the bus tour with 30,000 or so fans in the street cheering us, there is a massive buzz around the place at the moment and next year we will have a go at finishing as high as possible in League One to do the City proud,” explained Michael.  

The 11-time Northern Ireland international went on to speak about returning to League One as a player after last playing in the division with Port Vale: “I have played most of my career in League One so there isn’t much difference between the competition and League Two apart from the top four teams.

“If you look at our squad then most of them have played in League One or above for the majority of their careers so we have that experience.

“We have a few young lads who will be tested in League One, especially Ellis Chapman who will do well next year when he gets his chance.”


Michael finished by explaining how pre-season will play an important role in City’s preparation for life in League One. The 31-year-old also discussed his preparation on a personal level after recovering from a previous knee injury.

“We will look to have a good pre-season by getting everyone fit to start off the season well so it will all be about having a good start.

"It will be good to work on fitness and how we want to start playing, I think it is very beneficial to go away.

“I have had some extra work done to get my knee back to 100% so hopefully next year you will see a much fitter and stronger me.

“Every year I have scored a 25-yard goal so hopefully I will get a few more next year, I think I played a more defensive role last season because I wasn’t as mobile with my knee but I am hoping next year I can be more of a box-to-box midfielder scoring more goals for the club.”


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