Belfast Telegraph

Linfield's Sammy Morrow: I can handle heat

By Graham Luney

Sammy Morrow says he is thriving under the pressure of playing for Linfield.

The Blues fans expect their team to be challenging for major silverware but the Gibson Cup and Irish Cup haven't taken up residence at Windsor Park since 2012.

Warren Feeney has replaced legendary boss David Jeffrey in the dugout but the club's thirst for silverware never dwindles.

Now four points clear at the top of the Danske Bank Premiership, the fans are dreaming again of winning the big one in 2015 but in the back of their minds is the fear that the wheels can still come off the bandwagon.

Linfield failed to finish the job last season but this is a new group of players, many of whom are not burdened by those painful memories.

After back to back defeats to Crusaders in the league and County Antrim Shield, the fans turned on the players and Feeney as the boo boys made their voices heard.

Morrow, who netted a superb goal in the Boxing Day win over Glentoran, knows the Windsor faithful are a demanding lot but he wouldn't have it any other way.

"To be honest I'd rather have that because when you are playing under fans that demand so much such as at this club that has won so much countless times, I love playing under that pressure and playing for big clubs," said the former Northern Ireland Under-21 international.

"I've played for big clubs in the past and it's exactly the same.

"We need the right type of player in that dressing room.

"The odd shout or boo here or there will fall on deaf ears as we know the next pass or next chance could lead to a goal.

"I'm experienced enough and have been around the block a few times not to worry too much."

Former Ross County and Hibernian striker Morrow, who agreed a one-year deal with the Blues in May, has found a spring in his step again after a long period out of the game.

And he's struck up a lethal partnership with Andy Waterworth, a man he is proud to play alongside.

"It's great playing with Andy because his strengths are my weaknesses and my strengths are his weaknesses," added the 29-year-old.

"We complement each other so well and we are honest and work hard for each other.

"I've played with great partners in the past with different clubs.

"I've enjoyed partners, I've not enjoyed them but Andy is an honest boy who will work his socks off. I'll do the same for him.

"His strengths are over the top and mine are coming in and getting the ball and we are working well together.

"We are a fit and strong team and we believe we can win games, we are ruthless at the minute."

Linfield are leading the title charge but realism, as well as optimism, are keywords at Windsor.

"The title race is wide open," added Morrow.

"It's only December and nothing will be decided until May. We are where we want to be and we will just worry about ourselves, no-one else.

"We are trying to beat teams in front of us every Saturday and whatever happens in other games happens.

"We will keep trying to do the right thing and get three points on the board every week.

"Our record against big teams is improving as well. We are confident going into every game and we have the players to change things, depending on the opposition."

Boss Feeney is thrilled to see Morrow conjure up some magic.

"People look at Sammy and think he's a big man who holds the ball up but he has got great feet and the goal he scored against Glentoran was superb," said Feeney.

"He turned the guy on a sixpence and hit it with his left foot and we have been working on that in training. I love taking the strikers away and working in small groups.

"It probably wasn't a clean strike but I always tell the boys to hit the target and then anything can happen.

"It was the right time for us to score."

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