Belfast Telegraph

I got a laugh and a smile: Jamie Mulgrew has a pop at referee's performance during Linfield's League Cup win

Linfield's Jamie Mulgrew is tackled by Ballymena's Steven McCullough. Photo by David Maginnis/Pacemaker Press
Linfield's Jamie Mulgrew is tackled by Ballymena's Steven McCullough. Photo by David Maginnis/Pacemaker Press

By Alex Mills in the Sunday Life

Linfield skipper Jamie Mulgrew took a swipe at referee Andrew Davey’s handling of Saturday’s BetMcLean League Cup Final.

The 32-year-old, who turned in another power-packed showing, was the victim of some horrible challenges in a game that threatened to boil over at times.

Although the Bangor official flashed the yellow card on five occasions, perhaps some of the punishment dished out to Mulgrew deserved more.

The Blues ace accused the referee of providing him with little protection and displaying an arrogant attitude.

“You’re not allowed to say too much these days,” he blasted.

“It’s not unusual for me to be kicked from pillar to post but when the referee is telling you to get up when you nearly get your leg broken...”

He added: “It’s embarrassing the way you get spoken to. A few bad challenges are fair enough and, in many ways, I take it as a compliment but what’s not fair enough is how I was spoken to by the official.

“I’m asked to go out and do a professional job in representing my club every time I play and I’m not saying I’m a saint by any stretch, but I don’t expect to be told to ‘get up’ after some of the challenges on me.

“Some of the tackles were reckless — one in particular was a straight red card. The player was late into the challenge, those things happen.

“But whenever I questioned the referee, he didn’t want to know. I then got a laugh and a smile — that’s fact.”

Mulgrew had spoken in the build-up to the Final about the importance of securing the first trophy of the season to build momentum for the League leaders’ title charge.

He continued: “Ballymena made us fight and that’s what we expected.

“We didn’t bring our ‘A’ game and Ballymena put us under a massive amount of pressure but that is why we have the best defensive record in the League this season.

“It’s been a long time since we won this trophy but we’ve got that monkey off our backs and to get the first trophy of the season is massive for us.”

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