Mark Haughey programme article - by Jamie Megarry

Posted : 20th August 2016

Linfield defender Mark Haughey reached a career milestone last Saturday, playing in his 100th game for the club and the 25 year-old marked the occasion fittingly, helping to keep a clean sheet at the heart of a battling Linfield performance in the 0-0 draw against Crusaders at Seaview.

Speaking to 'Look at Linfield' after the match, Haughey was filled with pride at reaching the significant milestone.

"I know Linfield is one of the biggest clubs on the island and for me to reach a milestone of playing my 100th game for the club is a real honour. Looking back on it, I would have wished to have won more medals with the club, but that is something that we are aiming to put right in the near future.“

The big defender from Newry says one of the favourite moments of his Linfield career this far, is when he had to go into goal and managed to save a penalty against today’s opponents Glenavon back in February, after goalkeeper Ross Glendinning was sent off.

“I've had many special moments in my career. From scoring the winner in the exciting late comeback down in Warrenpoint and heading in the winner against the Glens at the Oval, but for me I'd have to say going into goal for the game against Glenavon and saving the penalty has to be up there. Just in the way it happened, it's definitely something I'll never forget."

Haughey has played every minute of Linfield’s opening three league games to date and believes there are plenty of reasons to be positive after a tough start.

“I think we have started the season reasonably. We got a good three points away to Ballinamallard which was a difficult place to start as it’s never easy at Ferney Park. Then we definitely underperformed against Coleraine but still fought back to gain a point when Aaron Burns grabbed a crucial late equaliser. I think a battling but deserved point at Seaview when down to 10 men for most of the second half was a good result too” added Haughey.

The former Banbridge Town and Glenavon player knows a lot about today’s opponents, a club where he made his senior football debut against Linfield at the age of 16. Haughey, who has netted 10 times in his 100 appearances for the Blues, is out to prove a point after a disappointing result against the Lurgan Blues in last season’s Irish Cup final.

“We know what we are up against with Glenavon, a former club of mine. Gary Hamilton has put together a strong squad that is mixed with experience, youth and physicality. They showed in last season’s Irish Cup final how good they can be and they will be keen to build on that success. All we can do is concentrate on our own game and if we perform as I know we can, we should be able to achieve the positive result we need.”

Mark believes the squad is in good shape with stiff overall competition for places and quality players all over the pitch, as proved at Seaview last week when Josh Carson, Aaron Burns and Sean Ward came into the team and excelled in place of quality players in Paul Smyth, Jamie Mulgrew and Ross Gaynor.

“The squad mentality is good at the moment. The manager has also made some good signings this summer to add strength and depth to the squad, so hopefully we can kick on today against Glenavon.”

Linfield supporters in attendance at today's game will hope that the versatile, tough tackling defender can play a significant role in what will hopefully be a positive result for the club against opponents who are sure to provide a formidable challenge in today's eagerly anticipated game.
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