Magic Mulgrew merits big match with Gers, says Linfield boss Healy
Jamie Mulgrew Testimonial
Linfield manager David Healy has stated that nobody deserves a big testimonial match against Rangers more than long serving Windsor Park hero Jamie Mulgrew.
The 30-year-old midfielder is sure to receive a rapturous reception today from the 8,000-strong crowd at the Blues brothers party with Healy hailing Mulgrew for his sterling service to Linfield.
Mulgrew joined Linfield in 2005 and has won trophies galore and experienced testing times during his 11-year spell at the club. Healy says Mulgrew has proved his worth to the club on and off the pitch throughout that period.
“Jamie has always brought a desire, commitment and energy to the blue shirt,” stated Northern Ireland’s record goalscorer Healy.
“He has always wanted to be the best player he can be for Linfield. I’m sure over the course of the 400-plus games that he has played they haven’t always been wonderful games because no one can achieve that but every time Jamie turns up to train or to play you know you are going to get total commitment from him.
“He understands more than most what it actually means to be a Linfield player.
“Jamie has had great success at the club and he has been through some disappointing times too. To me he is a proper Linfield player and I know the fans at Windsor will show their appreciation at his testimonial.
“He is also a fantastic man, he speaks well and cares about the club away from the pitch.
“In the past couple of years he hasn’t always been a regular starter because different managers have different ideas but when I took over at Linfield last season I saw straight away what he could offer the team and over the summer Jamie was made captain as he leads by example.
“I’m delighted he is still at Linfield after all these years and he has a big part to play for us going forward.”
Healy lived one of his boyhood dreams when he signed and starred for Rangers during the latter years of his playing career and knows what today’s testimonial means to Mulgrew.
“With Jamie having supported Rangers all his life I knew he and his testimonial committee always hoped that this game would be possible. Everyone at our club was delighted for him when Rangers agreed to come over,” added Healy, who is pleased that the Glasgow outfit are back in Scotland’s top-flight again after administration, liquidation and working their way up from Division Three.
“Club-wise for Rangers, things are looking good again. They are on a more steady footing than they were a couple of years ago,” said Healy, who actually once played for Rangers against Linfield and Mulgrew at Windsor.
“The majority of the squad has changed from my time there. To the outside eye it looks like the club has changed for the better, Mark Warburton has come in as manager and he has the team playing his way and getting back into the SPL was brilliant for them and Scottish football.”
Healy agrees with Mulgrew that today’s testimonial will act as an ideal warm-up game for Rangers ahead of next weekend’s league meeting with Celtic.
The Linfield boss also believes what promises to be a noisy occasion will benefit his players.
“So far for us, it’s been an okay start,” said Healy, who commented that on a personal level he felt for Alan Kernaghan who resigned as boss of Glentoran earlier this week following a League Cup loss to Annagh United.
Healy added: “We have had a couple of draws which we could and should have turned into wins, but we are still unbeaten and just a couple of points off the top of the table and I believe we can improve going forward.”
Today’s kick-off is at 1pm.