Belfast Telegraph

Blues must find killer instinct again, says Mulgrew


By Steven Beacom

Linfield captain Jamie Mulgrew believes the players at the club have let manager David Healy and the fans down this season.

The experienced midfielder insists Healy remains the best man for the job at Windsor Park and is demanding that those in blue shirts display a ruthless mentality for the remainder of the campaign and finish on a high.

Following on from last term when Linfield won the league title, Irish Cup and County Antrim Shield in scintillating style, the Blues, so far, have failed to deliver this time round.

Mulgrew, an influential figure on and off the pitch at Windsor, feels retaining the Irish Cup and going on a winning run in the Danske Bank Premiership could yet save the club's season.

It's a big week for the champions, starting with a home league match today against second bottom Carrick Rangers before a mouthwatering Irish Cup quarter-final versus Cliftonville on Tuesday, and then a Big Two derby with Glentoran at Windsor on Saturday week.

Mulgrew says: "We need to change our mindset and get back to basics and do the things we did last season. We have to be more ruthless.

"No matter if you are going well or not, Linfield is a tough place to be, but whether things are going well or not you have to meet the challenge head on.

"If you are not up to the challenge then you'll sink."

Healy's first full season in charge was sensational, winning the treble as he showed his managerial abilities. There is a good argument to suggest, however, he overachieved but, as Northern Ireland's record goalscorer knows all too well, the expectancy at Linfield means trophies must follow trophies.

The board are right behind Healy, as are the players.

"I've said all along David Healy is the right man for the job," Mulgrew told Cool FM's Bet McLean Football Show.

"There is no question about that. You hear all sorts of rumours going about because we haven't been going so well that he's lost the dressing room but that's nonsense.

"We have let him down, let the supporters down and let the club down. I don't think anyone would have envisaged us to be as poor this year.

"But we are in the position in the league for a reason. The league table doesn't lie and at this moment in time our season rests on the Irish Cup, and you could say the same for Cliftonville as well."

The fourth-placed Blues will enter the fixture with Carrick Rangers six points behind Glenavon and the same number ahead of Cliftonville.

David McAlinden's Carrick side will approach Windsor without fear having improved performances in recent weeks and will be boosted by a 1-0 victory over Dungannon Swifts in their last outing.

Belfast Telegraph

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