Belfast Telegraph

Biggest game of our lives: Linfield captain Mulgrew to tie European record against Qarabag

Linfield captain Jamie Mulgrew
Linfield captain Jamie Mulgrew

By Graham Luney

Linfield captain Jamie Mulgrew will equal the club's record of 36 European appearances held by legend Noel Bailie tonight.

The midfield maestro, however, will - as always - be focused on the team mission when they aim to finish the job against Qarabag.

The Blues can still make the Europa League group stages after their superb 3-2 first-leg play-off win.

"It will be a huge honour for me to match Noel's record, a legend of this football club and someone who has helped me enormously in my career," said Mulgrew.

"It will be a very proud moment for me but this is the biggest game of our lives and the players are here to do a job.

"It's a fantastic stadium and playing surface, everything you would look for.

"Everyone is thoroughly looking forward to the massive challenge.

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"The preparation has been first class and it gives us a platform to perform.

"Since the manager has been here the bond has got stronger in the group and we are all pulling in the same direction. We have a quality squad and everyone is in good form.

"So far the manager has used the squad very well and all the players are excited.

"We have certainly come out here with plenty to fight for. The carrot is dangling in front of us, there's a massive prize that awaits the winners.

"From a personal point of view, as the rounds have gone on you get hungrier and hungrier and we are very close to achieving something special.

"You don't want the adventure to stop and we have something to fight for.

"Our performance in the first leg has given us an opportunity to come here with a 3-2 advantage and something to hold onto."

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