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Carvill is hungry to finish the job

By Graham Luney

Michael Carvill has hailed the happy atmosphere in the Linfield camp as the players go about performing more European heroics.

The 26-year-old slotted in a late winner for Warren Feeney's side at the home of B36 Torshavn on Thursday night, leaving the Blues defending a 2-1 lead in the rematch at Mourneview Park on Tuesday evening.

Feeney's first match in charge of Linfield was a Europa League test in the Faroe Islands and it was Carvill who conjured up the winner.

The former Charlton ace, who was joined on the scoresheet by Jamie Mulgrew, felt the visitors deserved to win the opening battle and he is encouraged by a positive atmosphere within a dressing room which features many new faces.

"I think it takes time for players to get together and understand each other's strengths and weaknesses but the important thing is that we are enjoying our football at the minute," said Carvill.

"There's been changes at management level and with the playing staff so we are a work in progress but there's a great atmosphere in the camp and everyone gets on well.

"There's a mixture of youth and experience with the defence the other night being particularly young. The oldest player in our back four was around 22 so that's a reliance on young players.

"At the minute we are solely focused on improving our fitness and giving it our best shot in Europe.

"But it's good that there is positivity around. We have only been working together for a few weeks but the new management team have adopted a professional approach and we are enjoying our football at the moment.

"Hopefully that continues but we suffered a European hangover last season when we returned to domestic matters and we must not let that happen again."

Linfield will be quietly confident they can finish the job at Mourneview Park on Tuesday but Carvill knows nothing can be taken for granted in football.

"I can see them coming back at us and putting us under pressure as they have nothing to lose," he added.

"There's still a lot of work to be done and if we have the wrong attitude things will come back to haunt us. You should never write anyone off. If they can get an early goal then their tails will be up and it's a different game.

"It's important we adopt the right gameplan. But I was delighted to score the winner in the first game. Matty Clarke put a great ball into the box and I knocked it into the bottom corner. There was a frantic opening but we settled down after Jamie's opener.

"Their equaliser (from Adeshina Lawal) knocked us back but for our first competitive game I felt we performed very well."

Mulgrew also felt his side deserved to secure a first leg advantage.

"We thoroughly deserved the three points," he told the club website.

"The way we fought back and stuck together and got the winner was a great tribute to the boys.

"This is a good platform for the team for Tuesday. We need to show character as it will not always be plain sailing. Great Linfield teams fight for each other and we will do that.

"But only half the job is done and there is a great incentive to make it to Sweden in the next round.

"I've started off with one goal and hopefully I can build on that but it's the team performance that matters. This game can bite you in the backside so we will have to put in the same level of performance in the second leg.

"The second goal was first class and something we had been practising. We have a responsibility to put smiles on fans' faces and hopefully we can bring more success to the club."

Belfast Telegraph


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