Niall Quinn programme article

Posted : 14th November 2015

Full back Niall Quinn spoke to Look at Linfield after last week’s disappointing 1-0 defeat against champions Crusaders. The 22 year old defender spoke about the mood in the camp after that setback and also about his own progress at the club.

“That result today was a hard one to take. You know that it is always going to be a difficult game against Crusaders but I don’t think we did ourselves justice. As a defence we probably did well in the overall game to nullify the threat posed by Jordan Owens and their other goal threats. The game was probably going to be decided by a mistake or a piece of attacking brilliance and Owens took his chance well. It is tough for us to take as we have been doing well recently. We were also a bit unlucky not to equalise near the end when Aaron’s shot struck the bar but I am sure that we can bounce back from this setback.”

Quinn made his first team debut for Linfield back in April 2012 and is just two appearances short of a century of games for the club. He has shown his versatility this season by playing at full back and on the left side of midfield. He came back into the side for the County Antrim Shield game against Cliftonville and has managed to hold onto his place. Niall has been competing with Matthew Clarke for the left back position and feels that the intense competition for places brings out the best in both players.

“There is great competition between myself and Matthew and it is healthy for the club. He is a very talented player and he started this season very well, particularly in the European games. I just need to make sure that I am ready to take my chance when it comes along and I am happy with my form at the moment. You can never be complacent at a club like Linfield as there are always players coming through the ranks and new players coming in.”

Looking ahead to today’s big clash against Cliftonville, Niall is adamant that the Blues can get a positive result to keep their league title challenge on track. The Reds will pose a threat, however, as they showed in the recent Shield tie which Linfield edged in extra time.

“Today is a game that we need to win and get the three points. This is a very tight league and we can’t afford to drop too far behind leaders Crusaders. There is no doubt that Cliftonville are a good side but we have to show the same spirit and commitment that we did in the Shield game. I am sure that they will be looking for revenge but if we play to our full potential then we can get the win and keep the pressure on the leaders.”

Niall signed a contract extension at the club in December 2014 which will take him to the end of the 2016/17 season. He is now playing under his third manager at Linfield, having been given his debut by David Jeffrey and progressing under Warren Feeney and now David Healy. For Niall, however, the recent managerial change has been a fairly smooth transition for the players.

“There has been minimal change to be honest which I think is good. David has his own ideas to develop the team but there has been no change to the backroom staff so there has been plenty of continuity from Warren’s spell as manager. I am sure that the new manager will want to freshen things up and the players just have to respond to that. We still have plenty to play for this season, it’s only November and there are three trophies to compete for. Let’s wait until the end of the season until we make any judgements but there will be no shortage of effort from the players.”
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