Andrew Mitchell programme article
Posted : 1st September 2017
Andrew Mitchell was one of four signings made by Linfield this summer, as he made the move across Belfast from Crusaders. The former Rangers midfielder has settled well into life at Windsor Park, starting all three league games thus far, as well as picking up the Linfieldfc.com ‘Man of the Match’ award in the previous home game against Carrick Rangers.
The new signing also netted his first league goal for the Blues down at Dungannon last week from the spot in a thumping 4-0 win. Speaking to ‘Look at Linfield’ after the game, Mitchell said he’s delighted to be at Linfield and hailed manager David Healy as a pulling factor in his move across the city.
“It goes without saying but Linfield are the biggest club in, not just Northern Ireland, but the whole of Ireland, so joining a big club like Linfield was a big deal for me. The manager was a big pulling factor. I’ve always admired how he went about his business from our time together at Rangers. He was always a big help in training and games for me.”
“I played against Linfield last season for Crusaders and knew what they were all about and the professionalism of the club. They do everything to a tee and that’s why I wanted to be here. When I came back from full-time football, reality probably hit me. I’m so glad to be here now though, as this is as close as you’ll get here to a full-time professional club.”
Having played for Scottish giants Rangers FC, ‘Mitch’, who signed a three-year deal with Linfield in May, is no stranger to pressure and expectancy to succeed and he says it’s something that he can thrive on in his time at the club.
“The demand for success, pressure and expectancy here is similar to that at Rangers and it’s something I wanted to get back to. When you pull on the jersey, you’re expected to win games and I think that’s a good thing. Winning trophies isn’t a given, but we’re expected to deliver them and I’ll be giving 100% on the pitch to try and make that happen.”
The 25 year-old is one of four quality central midfielders at the club and acknowledges that he will have to keep up his good performances or there will be another player ready to step up. But Mitchell believes having that competition for places can help everyone, with strength in depth all around the pitch.
“The manager has brought in a number of good players to an already strong squad. I knew coming here, they were strong all over the park and nailing down a starting spot would be a challenge. Stevie Lowry has been unfortunate missing the first game but he’s a good lad and a good trainer. Just look at the quality on our bench at Dungannon last week. There were top players like Aaron Burns, Stephen Lowry and Josh Robinson. Everyone’s chomping at the bit and we all know we must perform or we’re out of the team. It’s a good thing to have. I don’t want to be somewhere where there are no players keeping me on my toes. History shows that the team with the strongest squad usually wins the league and we feel confident and determined.”
Linfield come into this afternoon’s encounter with David Jeffrey’s Sky Blues with three wins from the opening three games and the midfielder is only focusing on trying to add another three points to maintain the 100% record.
“There’s a nice buzz around the club but we can only take each game as it comes. The manager sets high standards, as do I upon myself as a player but you never look too far ahead and always maintain the hard work. Ballymena is the only focus now and we want to add another three points but they’ll be coming here to scrap for the points.”
A warm welcome to Andrew who has settled into life at Windsor Park with ease and best wishes to him from everyone at the club for his Linfield career which will hopefully be a successful one and one which would be helped by maximum points against Ballymena United this afternoon in what will undoubtedly be a competitive and hard fought match.