Belfast Telegraph

Five-star Linfield can still win another double, says two-goal Kirk Millar

Linfield 5-0 Glebe Rangers

By Alex Mills

Two-goal Kirk Millar is eyeing up another glamour day out in the Tennent's Irish Cup.

The 25-year-old midfielder believes David Healy's boys can go all the way to their third successive final after helping the Blues easily dispose of little Glebe Rangers in this fifth round tie at Windsor Park.

Ironically Millar began the afternoon as one of the seven substitutes sitting in the south Belfast chill, but was called into action after only 25 minutes when little Jordan Stewart limped off.

Millar helped himself to a glorious double strike, with defensive trio Mark Haughey, Josh Robinson and Matty Clarke also getting in on the scoring stakes.

Although Healy paraded his new strike partnership in the form of Achille Campion and Kurtis Byrne, it was Millar who took centre stage.

"Obviously it wasn't good to see Jordan coming off, but you have to take the opportunity when you get it," said Millar.

"You have to show (the manager) why you should be in the side. I was disappointed to be left out, but you have to get your head right - and be ready if you get the call.

"I was left out after the Warrenpoint game, so I have been waiting patiently for the chance. It's always nice to hit the back of the net - it will help lift our confidence levels. I thought the team played well," he added.

With Newry City next up on February 3, Millar reckons the Blues are geared to go the distance once again.

"We've been in the final for the past two years - and we are the cup holders, so we'll be giving it our best shot," he said. "It was a great feeling lifting the trophy last season, so we want more of that.

"The pressure is on us to retain the trophy because we are playing catch-up in terms of the league title. We certainly haven't given it up. Things can change so quickly because any team is capable of beating the other, whether you are at the top or the bottom.

"All we can do is keep going and look after ourselves. We are certainly looking for favours - we just hope the teams above start dropping points.

"You need to be up there, especially when the league splits later in the season. We came on strong last season, our great unbeaten run started around this time. Hopefully we can do the same again.

"You can't give up on anything. We went through a wee dodgy spell in terms of results, hopefully the top two will hit a rocky patch soon and start dropping points. In saying that both Coleraine and Crusaders are playing very well."

Millar believes new boys Campion and Byrne will be a big asset to the club.

"The boys seem to be gelling well. I thought they both did really well - they had some nice touches. It was a good game for them to make their debut," he said.

"Losing Paul Smyth (to QPR) in the summer was a big blow. He was unbelievable. He got us up the pitch when we were under a bit of pressure. He was a great outlet.

"Andy (Waterworth) has really been on his own since Paul left, hopefully the new lads will take a bit of pressure off him."

Stewart Nixon netted a double as Ballyclare Comrades beat Portadown 2-1 after extra time at Shamrock Park. Extra-time was also required at Carrick where Glenavon emerged 3-1 winners.

Last year's beaten finalists Coleraine thumped Premier Intermediate League side Lisburn Distillery 7-0 as Ballinamallard saw off Immaculata 4-2. Dungannon conquered Limavady 4-0 while Ards overcame Crumlin Star 4-1.

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