Callum Connolly admits his dream debut for Wigan Athletic has still ‘not really sunk in’.
The 19-year-old only joined Latics on loan from Everton on the eve of Saturday’s crunch clash at fellow strugglers Burton.
But a headed goal in either half was enough to give Latics a lifeline in their fight against the drop - and fully justified Warren Joyce’s decision to pitch him straight in.
“Warren’s seen me play a few times for Everton at Under-23 level, and luckily he’s seen something in me,” Connolly acknowledged.
“When I got the call, I knew the gaffer had confidence in me and he just wanted me to do myself justice.
“It means a lot for him to have trusted me in such a big game, and thankfully I’ve repaid him with the goals and the three points.
“I do have an eye for goal, and when the chances come I do believe I can put them in the back of the net.
“It’s not really sunk in but hopefully we can build on this and kick on against Brentford next week.”
The win means second-bottom Latics have reduced the gap to fourth-bottom Burton to just three points with 20 games still to go.
“It was always going to be a six-pointer, because they’re so close to us in the table,” Connolly recognised.
“The gaffer said it would be one of the biggest games of the season, and it proved to be that.
“It was very physically demanding, there were a lot of long balls we had to defend, but I thought we were outstanding as a side.
“We’d like to think we’re on a bit of a roll now - there’s plenty of belief in the dressing room.
“I only arrived on Thursday, but straight away I could see the lads are all confident.”
Connolly couldn’t have done any more to endear himself to the Latics fans, who were chanting his name long before the end of a massive afternoon for the club.
“I’’ll have to work on my celebration...it wasn’t the best,” he laughed.
“Hopefully it will be better next week if I score again.
“It was nice to score in front of the Wigan supporters.
“They gave us great support throughout the ball, and it does keep you going.”