Jimmy Callacher looks ahead to Wednesday’s Windsor Champions League tie

Posted : 7th July 2019

Linfield defender Jimmy Callacher believes Linfield are well prepared, ahead of Wednesday night’s Champions League clash with Rosenborg.

“It was important for us to get those friendly games in before the competitive games start and obviously they start on Wednesday night, so the boys are delighted to get more minutes in the legs. It was just a pity about the results. We’ve three good friendly games under our belt now though and feel well prepared, fitness wise. A lot of players look sharp.”

“It’s going to be a tough game, we’re under no illusions. They put Ajax out of Europe two years ago, just months after Ajax had met Manchester United in the Europa League final, so we need to be at our best for sure. All we can do is wait and see what comes on Wednesday and give it our best shot. They’re a tough opposition, a good side but we can only do our own jobs and see where it takes us.”

The 28 year-old is hoping for a big night at Windsor but says the fans’ backing will be needed.

“We need the fans to get right behind us. Everyone knows how tough this will be and we will need them with us, so we would be very grateful for their support. They can make a difference and hopefully, we can give them a big performance in return.”

“If selected, it would be my first taste of Champions League football with Linfield, so that’s something I would relish. I missed the games against Celtic and La Fiorita two years ago through injury. We missed not being involved in these European games last year. The manager told us that you never know if you’ll get to experiences nights like these again, so we’ll try and make the most of it.”

Callacher – who joined from Glentoran in January 2014 – is on the verge of a significant personal milestone. Three more appearances would take him to 200 in a Linfield shirt.

“As I said when I reached 150, 200 appearances for the club I supported as a boy will be a nice feeling and an achievement that I will be proud of when it comes around, but my full and sole focus is on these European games.”

Jimmy will be hoping for another big season after being named Ulster Footballer of the Year for the 2018/19 season after helping to keep 20+ clean sheets and scoring 11 goals. Speaking of the accolade, the defender was proud to lift the award in May.

“I was honoured to win it, especially when you look at the names on it before me. Individual awards are nice but the most imporant thing for me was getting Linfield back to being successful again. Thankfully, we managed to do that by winning the title and the League Cup. The goals were nice too but as a defender you pride yourself on clean sheets which I’m happier with. Hopefully, we can do something similar this season.”
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