Belfast Telegraph

Blues aim to make their mark in Scotland, says Haughey


By Alex Mills

Mark Haughey admits Linfield have a big act to follow but they are up for the challenge. David Healy's boys enjoyed a triple trophy triumph last season with the Danske Bank Premiership league title, the Irish Cup and the County Antrim Shield taking pride of place in the Boardroom.

Currently unbeaten after four games in the new league campaign, the Blues will attempt to raise the bar even further when they feature against Scottish club Spartans in the Irn Bru Challenge Cup at Ainslie Park tomorrow.

Haughey, who was named the Northern Ireland Football Writers' Belleek Player of the Month for August, believes a place in the next round is a distinct possibility.

"We don't know much about Spartans, but the manager will have his homework done on them," he says.

"It's a big chance for us to get into the next round. It's a nice wee distraction from the league.

"We've had a good start to the season and it's important to keep the momentum going.

"The gaffer sets the bar high, he's a hard task master. We had a good pre-season and the European games really sharpened us up for the season. It was the best possible preparation.

"We had a four week break, but it was just enough. We were all itching to get back."

Linfield have yet to concede a goal this term - a testament to Haughey's presence in the back four.

"This is my first player of the month award, it's a huge honour," he adds.

"It's a great achievement for myself, but it's one that reflects how well the team is playing.

"Any one of the boys could really have won it.

"The back four hasn't altered much, it has more or less picked itself.

"There is bags of quality at the club. There are plenty of players ready to step in if you are not producing the goods."

Belfast Telegraph

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