Belfast Telegraph

New boss Healy can lead us to glory, says Jamie Mulgrew

By Graham Luney

Jamie Mulgrew says David Healy "fits the bill" at Linfield and he's looking forward to tasting success with Northern Ireland's all-time record goalscorer.

Mulgrew is the last surviving member from David Jeffrey's all conquering sides that won six doubles in seven seasons so he has felt the pain of the lean years more than most.

The Blues haven't won the league title or Irish Cup since 2012 but there is fresh hope that Healy, who enjoyed so many golden moments on the international stage at Windsor Park, can sprinkle his magic dust on the domestic football scene.

Mulgrew made his 400th appearance for Linfield in last weekend's Big Two battle at the international venue but at the age of 29 he has plenty more dreams to fulfil in a blue jersey and he's quietly confident Healy can help write more fairytales - beginning away to Warrenpoint today.

"David Healy certainly has the name and he fits the bill in my eyes as he has massive pedigree," said the midfielder who is enjoying his testimonial year with the Blues.

"Everyone from fans to players and managers have huge respect for what he achieved as a player and having him as our manager can hopefully inspire us to greater things.

"We will be doing everything in our power to help him get the club back to where it belongs which is at the top of Irish League football.

"Players are given a lift when a new manager comes in and a name like David Healy gives the whole club a lift. He's now a manager, not a player, but it was the same scenario as Warren Feeney.

"He knows all about Linfield and we are fully behind him. It is up to us as players to deliver for him and the club now. We all crave the league title after not winning it for a few years and hopefully we can under David."

Mulgrew is also passionate about helping young players improve and he works with Supreme Sports primary schools' coaching programme in the north Down area while also assisting Dundonald side Ridgeway Rovers.

Irish League management may come into his thinking in the years ahead but the former Glentoran man has unfinished business as a player.

"Warren's departure was unfortunate as he was rebuilding the team but the attitude of the players does not change even though the club's manager has," added Mulgrew.

"We are all united in our desire to win the league title and that goal does not change.

"The team wants to be successful and we are more mature now than last season when we made mistakes.

"Warren was offered the opportunity of managing in the full-time game close to where his family are based so we can understand his decision.

"It still wasn't an easy decision for him to make and the lads were disappointed but he leaves behind a strong side that is capable of winning the league, we still believe that.

"David will not want to do anything to disrupt our rhythm and we will be determined to keep this club challenging for trophies."

Mulgrew's 400th appearance inevitably brought a few memories back, most of them sweet but a few sour ones as well.

"People say when you are starting out that time will fly by so enjoy every minute," he added. "You just fend off those comments but your career really does go quickly and thankfully I haven't sustained serious injuries, allowing me to reach the 400 mark.

"I never take anything for granted. You won't find me resting on my laurels as I'm still hungry to achieve a lot more.

"The last few seasons when we didn't win the league or Irish Cup have been tough. It was great when we were on a roll and winning trophies but during the difficult times you learn more about yourself and your character.

"You need to be mentally strong to bounce back from disappointments and the tough times have made me more determined now to win trophies and taste that success again."

Belfast Telegraph


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