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Full Time

Linfield players must deal with pressure, warns Mulgrew after 500th game

By Steven Beacom

Jamie Mulgrew is honoured to have joined Linfield's 500 club but the midfield maestro is far from finished.

The inspirational Blues captain brought up the landmark appearance on Tuesday night at Warrenpoint as David Healy's men came from behind to record a 3-1 league win.

In doing so, Mulgrew - who has won every trophy the local game has to offer - followed in the footsteps of fellow Windsor Park heroes Noel Bailie, Tommy Dickson, Alex Russell, William Murphy and George Dunlop.

Leading the team out for game No.500 was a moment to savour for the midfielder, who admits with injury problems and inconsistent results this has not been the most enjoyable of seasons.

"The chairman Roy McGivern had mentioned earlier in the campaign that I was closing in on 500 matches but due to my injury I have had a stop-start season, so it has taken a while to come around," said Mulgrew, whose next target is to reach 600 games.

"To join illustrious Linfield players on the 500 list is a great honour and for us to produce a professional performance and get the win made it even sweeter.

"I arrived at Linfield as a teenager who wanted to learn and I was fortunate to enter a great dressing room that helped to school and educate me.

"It's hard to single out the best moment but last season was extra special because we won three trophies, including the title, after going through a spell when we hadn't won one in a while."

Ahead of tomorrow's home league game versus Dungannon, Mulgrew added: "This season has been a tough one but there is a lot to play for with the Irish Cup and trying to finish in the top three in the league.

"We have to deal with the questions and pressure put on us and deliver in the quarter-finals of the cup against a strong Cliftonville side, and while we can't win the title this time that shouldn't stop us targeting the highest finish possible."

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