Belfast Telegraph

Friday 19 September 2014

Mulgrew hits back as Linfield stand up to critics

Linfield's Jamie Mulgrew (right)

Jamie Mulgrew says David Jeffrey is right to go on the verbal offensive against rival supporters and managers who criticise Linfield.

The Blues boss blasted critics after his side destroyed Crusaders 8-1 at Windsor Park on Monday night.

Jeffrey is upset at claims Linfield are expected to coast to championship glory because of their superior financial resources.

His midfield enforcer Mulgrew believes that “football is a game of opinions and everyone is entitled to have them” but he does disagree with the argument that the Blues get out the cheque book rather than invest in young talent.

The 24-year-old said: “There has been a lot of talk about Linfield’s contract with the IFA and I’m not going to go into that — everyone is entitled to their opinions.

“However, what I will say is that a few managers have been going on about how they have to play younger players because their squad is not as big as ours.

“But when you look at the Linfield team you will realise that it is a very young squad and those young players have a huge amount of desire and hunger to win trophies.

“I know people like to highlight the resources Linfield have, but I think it is perhaps a way of putting more pressure on us. We cannot control what others say or think — what matters is what we are doing and what we are thinking.

“You never look too far ahead in football or take anything for granted. We learned lessons last season and you just know the game has a habit of throwing egg in your face.

“We have a settled starting eleven at the moment and the aim is to maintain our form, but it is only October and there is always that fear that things could

take a turn for the worse, particularly if you start thinking you are better than you are.”

Linfield visit Newry City in the third round of the Co-operative Insurance Cup tomorrow brimming with confidence after their 8-1 thrashing of Crusaders on Monday night.

Mulgrew, however, feels it would be a huge mistake for the players to start believing they were world beaters.

“It was just one of those games when everything feel for us and it was a bad night for the Crues,” added Mulgrew who completed the rout in the 71st minute.

“There was a time when we were struggling to score this season, but I think we showed that we can be clinical. It would be dangerous to read anything into the result.

“People are getting carried away but we cannot afford to. What happened last year is fresh in our minds, but when you keep winning it makes you hungrier to win more trophies.”

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