It's a huge honour for me to manage this great club for the first time at a Windsor Park home game this afternoon. This stadium holds many great memories for me as an international player but of course, my attention is now focused entirely on aiming to bring success to this club that I have supported since childhood.
The players have worked hard and prepared thoroughly for what is sure to be a difficult assignment and we will all be doing all in our power to try and secure the maximum points on offer today.
Warrenpoint showed how good a team they are with a recent win at Dungannon and an excellent home draw with Cliftonville last weekend. Those results will give them confidence and belief that they can come here and achieve a positive result but we will concentrate on our own game and aim to build on our encouraging start to the league season to date.
I was particularly pleased with the attitude displayed by our players in the second half of the recent game at Solitude. They stood up to the challenge and thoroughly deserved the point on the night at what is undoubtedly a very tough venue.
The new players have settled well into the squad and I was delighted with the clean sheets in our most recent away games at both Solitude and Dungannon.
Jamie Mulgrew returned to action playing in a couple of Swifts' games recently and I'm hoping that we may have Andrew Waterworth available for today's game. Sammy Morrow returned to action in the recent game at Solitude but Sean Ward, Peter Thompson and Reece Glendinning are likely to be unavailable due to injury for today's game. We have a slight injury doubt concerning Chris Hegarty but hopefully, he will be fit to continue his impressive early season form in today's game.
Conor McMenamin has gone on loan to Loughgall until January and we wish him well there. Congratulations to Kirk Millar and Aaron Burns who both featured for Northern Ireland under 21s in the midweek game against Serbia at Shamrock Park. Their international call-ups were thoroughly deserved and recognition for excellent early season displays for Linfield.
Our supporters have been excellent in all of our away games to date and I know that as we return home today, we can rely on your encouragement and support to help us in what is sure to be another tough challenge today. Get behind all the players and we will aim to send you all home happy with a pleasing result and performance.