Roy Carroll programme article

Posted : 1st May 2018

With the season drawing to a close, Linfield’s much-loved shot-stopper Roy Carroll is pushing for a strong end to the season in a bid for European football as the Blues welcome Cliftonville to Windsor Park in a must-win game in the race for third place, following last week’s draw at home to Coleraine.

“When you’re 2-0 up at Windsor as we were last week, you should see the game out. The lads showed how good they were in the first half but Coleraine came out in the second half with nothing to lose and that showed. We have to win against Cliftonville now to have a chance of finishing third. It would then be depending on the Cup final, too, but we know what we have to do. This Club needs to be in Europe.

We will have to rise to the occasion, if we’re involved in the play-offs. Everyone will be fighting to get the final European spot but Linfield have to get it with the stature of this Club. Personally, I want to be involved in those European games after last year."

The former Manchester United and Olympiacos goalkeeper will turn 41 in September, yet his enthusiasm for the game of football burns as strong as ever. Whilst the 45 times capped Northern Ireland international was coy over giving anything away in regards to his future, he said he wouldn’t rush into a decision, despite his will to stay at Windsor Park. The seasoned professional wants to ensure he’s in good shape for next season, before potentially committing to another year at Linfield.

“I’ll wait until the end of the season to see if I’m feeling fit. I’m not getting any younger, so I can’t look too far ahead. Hopefully, we will only have one more game to go this season but if it takes another two games after today, we will just have to try and get over the line. I would love to stay at Linfield, but as I’ve mentioned, I’m not getting any younger, so we’ll wait and see how it pans out.”

The Fermanagh native recently returned after three months out with a knee injury but he’s happy with how he's felt since his return, other than a bit of pain playing on Crusaders’ plastic pitch two weeks ago.

“My knee has held up well since returning. It started hurting a bit at Seaview two weeks ago. I don’t like playing on 4G pitches but it’s just one of those things. Three months out is a long time and it’s just nice to be back playing again.”

The current Linfield 'Player of the year’ finished by underlining why he’s enjoying life at Windsor Park and you could say it’s a fine example of why ‘big Roy’ has became a crowd favourite in his two years at Linfield, who he joined after leaving Notts County in 2016.

“I’ve enjoyed it here. Winning three trophies in my first season here was brilliant. This season has been tough for us but that’s football for you. I’ve played for big Clubs and small Clubs – Linfield is a big Club and the pressure of playing for Linfield is enormous and that’s why I have ended up coming back to play for Linfield. I like playing under pressure where you have to win every game, but unfortunately that hasn’t happened this season.”

Good luck to Roy and the rest of the team for this crucial end to the season and no doubt, many Linfield supporters will hope to see the experienced ‘keeper continue his stay at Linfield, following countless top class performances in his time with the Blues.
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