Belfast Telegraph

Linfield's Kirk Millar expects title surges from across the country

Linfield 4 Ards 0

By David Mason

Even though Crusaders and Linfield are beginning to put their feet on the gas at the top of the table, Kirk Millar believes the Danske Bank Premiership will not develop into a two-horse race.

David Healy's boys produced their most impressive performance of the season on Saturday, ramming four goals past ailing Ards, who were fortunate to leave with their pride still relatively intact.

Aaron Burns, Stephen Lowry and Millar had the home fans celebrating three points after only 33 minutes. And, only for an inspired goalkeeping display from Aaron Hogg, the Blues could have been in double figures.

He could do little about Emmett Friars' own goal in the second half though, which just about summed up Ards' day.

"It may be looking like a fight between ourselves and Crusaders at the minute, but you never know in this league," said Millar. "Any team can beat the other on any given day.

"All the talk in the media is about Crusaders retaining the title, we are never really mentioned. We are operating under the radar and that suits us.

"We don't mind that. We've got to keep focusing on ourselves and keep churning out three points every week.

"Obviously, we want to be at the top of the table, but it's still early days."

Millar was the tormentor in chief as Healy's team threatened to run riot on the soggy Windsor Park surface.

"The early goals set us on our way," added Millar. "It was a great team performance. We all clicked, we all knew that a performance like that was coming."

Boss Healy, who was also thrilled with his boys, said: "The scoreline certainly didn't flatter us. Had we been a bit more clinical, it would have been more at the break.

"The players know I'm not one to hand out compliments on a regular basis, but we were good today. They'll get the compliments and arm around them when they win something."

Ards chief Niall Currie admitted his boys were outclassed.

"We were second best all over the pitch," he said. "We had a good discussion the dressing room afterwards. Maybe I got things wrong as well. I had one or two decisions to make, but it was always a case of square pegs in round holes.

"I believe I made a few wrong decisions myself. The boys must swallow the performance and get it out of their system."

 

Linfield: Carroll , Stafford, Clingan, Callacher, Lowry, Millar, Burns (Bright, 73 mins), Clarke, Casement , Gaynor (Fallon, 80 mins), Smyth (Waterworth, 70 mins). Unused subs: Haughey, Quinn.

Ards: Hogg, Hall, Friars, Byers, Ruddy, McCullough, Arthurs (McComb, 67 mins), Tommons, McKinney, Keke (Liggett, 72 mins), Rea (McAllister, 46 mins). Unused subs: Hughes, McMullan.

Referee: Tim Marshall (Irvinestown)

Man of the match: Kirk Millar

Match rating: 7/10

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