Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 31 August 2014

Munster’s making amends for Linfield

Paul Munster edged Linfield closer to the Premiership title when he scored the second goal in a 3-1 win over Glentoran

Paul Munster has his eyes on a treble dream that will bring satisfaction to last all summer.

The Linfield striker is one of the ‘have-nots' in the Windsor Park dressing room. He is among the group of players who have arrived at the club since the summer of 2008 and endured a trophyless first season at the club.

Now a fourth league title in five seasons is within reach after Munster's goal helped give the Blues a vital 3-1 victory over Glentoran on Tuesday night to move five points clear at the top of the Carling Premiership table.

Five points from their remaining four games will make Linfield champions — although four would more than likely be sufficient given the superior goal difference.

With the second-leg of the Setanta Sports Cup semi-finals against Bohemians — in which Linfield trail 2-1 from the first meeting — and an Irish Cup last four tie to come in the next couple of weeks, there is a big incentive for those players in the Linfield squad who have not yet got a medal in their collection.

To go from nothing, to winning the three biggest competitions might not make up for missing out on silverware last season, but nobody would be looking back, particular Munster who had a summer break with his Swedish girlfriend spoilt by that disappointment of 12 months ago.

“Since I have come home I haven't won anything,” said Munster, who played his football in Canada, the Czech Republic and Sweden before coming back to his native Belfast. I didn't come home to just play around, I came home to win medals so that at the end of my career I can look back and say that I have achieved what I wanted.

“I am getting stick all the time from my family because I haven't won anything and from the Glentoran fans too, but I love it.

“Last season was really bad, I didn't have a good holiday. I want to win things this season and hopefully win everything and have a good holiday. My girlfriend lives in Sweden and I went over to see her, but we didn't talk about football. At the minute it's a long distance right now, but she knows that football comes first for me.”

Munster scored a big goal against the Glens at Windsor Park last season in a 1-0 victory and he also netted at the Oval too. The Glens fought back to draw that game after Munster's goal had put Linfield in front and ultimately that was enough to see the league title head to the Oval by a single point. He is the man Linfield fans like to see coming on when their team needs a goal and he seldom disappoints them.

“I knew I had to come on against Glentoran and try to change the game somehow,” said Munster, who was introduced on the hour and scored 13 minutes later. “Thankfully I got a goal and created another one. It was good to get three points, especially against your rivals.

“I have been on the bench for the last few months and I've been itching to get on I always think when I come on I can do something. Thankfully I did that.”

The difference between a five point lead and a one point deficit that would have existed had the Glens won on Tuesday is huge.

Either way the title would have been in Linfield's hands as they have played a game less than Glentoran.

“It's a massive win because if they'd have won they'd have gone in front of us. Three points is a big difference. We're still ahead and hopefully we can get three points again on Saturday,” said Munster.

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