Belfast Telegraph

Jamie Mulgrew targets momentum as Blues get back on the title trail

By Adam McKendry

Linfield midfielder Jamie Mulgrew believes his side need to refocus and go on a run after his testimonial match against Rangers last weekend.

With the Blues' league game against Cliftonville postponed due to international call-ups, Mulgrew was rewarded for 11 years of service with the testimonial, which ended 7-0 to the Scottish giants.

The experienced winger admits it went "really, really well" despite the defeat, but now they have to focus on their return to Danske Bank Premiership action today.

David Healy's men take on Portadown at Windsor Park, and Mulgrew says they need to find some momentum to challenge league leaders Crusaders.

"On Saturday we had a day with no pressure," the 28-year-old said. "But now the pressure is back on and the prize is back to getting three points and winning.

"To keep a challenge going we need to get into our stride and get some momentum going to pick up a few wins in a row."

Before the international break, Linfield were unbeaten in five games. However, three of those were draws, leaving them five points off the pace in the race for the Gibson Cup.

Mulgrew admitted they know they haven't performed up to their high standard, but he says that they are focused on returning to the top of the league.

"To be honest we haven't had a complete performance, I don't think we've had a really good 90 minutes performance-wise," he admitted.

"It's about keeping our focus, having a strong mentality and knowing that we have to perform every week. If we don't then we can be punished for it because there's a lot of quality in the league.

"Yes, we haven't started off very quickly yet, but with being unbeaten so far that is a real positive.

"As I've said many times before we have a squad there that can really challenge, but now it's about us doing the talking on the pitch instead."

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