Andrew Mitchell programme article

Posted : 7th December 2019

‘Look at Linfield’ has been catching up with midfielder Andrew Mitchell, who hopes he has done enough to keep his spot in the team after a few recent starts. Mitchell has found game time limited this season, but he acknowledges that his midfield teammates have been putting in some impressive performances.

“It’s been a frustrating season for me so far, but the main thing is the team. Bastien, Stevie Fallon and Jamie Mulgrew have been excellent in there, so I’ve just had to bide my time, whilst keeping myself fit. It’s been good to get that chance recently. There’s a lot more improvement in me, but hopefully with games, that’ll come.”

“All footballers train hard all week to play on a Saturday, so of course it’s frustrating sitting out. You just have to keep your head down. You know what you’re in for when you sign for Linfield – it’ll always be tough. I just have to up my game. I hadn’t really played from the Qarabag game until recently, but now I have a chance, I need to take it. I did get back in briefly about a month ago but had a bad game. It’s a catch-22, as it’s your own fault, if you don’t take your chance.”

Last weekend at Windsor Park, Linfield snatched a late winner as Mitchell’s delivery was slotted home by his close personal friend Josh Robinson in a 1-0 win over Larne. 27 year-old Mitchell also picked up the ‘Man of the Match’ award which he says was a boost – yet he still thinks he hasn’t been at his best and wants to improve, if he maintains his place.

“It was brilliant to get the assist and ‘Man of the Match’ award last week, I’ve really enjoyed playing recently. It is a team game and if I can chip in with a few assists and maybe a few goals added to my game, then it’s great. I was delighted for my best mate Josh Robinson to get the goal. We’ve both been frustrated this year in comparison to last year, but last year is gone now. Others teams dropped points last week, so it’s just about us taking it a game at a time and keep pushing onwards.”

The win put ‘The Blues’ within two points of the top, with two games in hand. It was another win where David Healy’s men had to dig deep, and whilst comfortable wins are better for the blood pressure, ‘Mitch’ says grinding out wins can be a great tonic for morale.

“Sometimes it’s better picking up these wee 1-0 wins here and there, rather than thumping a team six or seven nil. I think the league is really hot this year, in terms of competition – no team is running away with it. We’ve had the odd slip, Cliftonville dropped points last week and the Crues, along with Coleraine, have lost a few games, meaning there’s a lot of teams in and around the top, fighting it out.

“I believe in looking after ourselves and the big games will look after themselves, so when they come around, we just have to work as hard as we can and hopefully with the squad and endeavour we have, we’ll come out strong on the other side. We'll certainly need the squad, especially with a few recent injuries which we don’t know the extent of. We’ll also need the two new signings, Kyle McClean and Ethan Boyle, and we look forward to welcoming them into the squad, come January. Linfield is a good place to be at the minute, as we’re all looking after each-other and feeling confident.”

The former Rangers, Man City and Crusaders midfielder believes Cliftonville will come to Windsor Park this afternoon like a wounded animal and he says it’s up to Linfield to rise to the challenge and continue their impressive home form.

“This will be another tough game. Cliftonville have gone under the radar this season and their manager Paddy McLaughlin has played that down very well. They should be up there, with the quality they’ve got in their squad, and when they come here, it will be up to us to show them that this is Windsor Park and this is our fortress. They will be hurting after losing last week, just like we were, after losing to Glenavon, before going and getting fantastic results against Ballymena United and Larne . It’s all about bouncing back and that’s something we’ve done well in the last two league games and it’s all about building on that now, and hopefully the results and performances will come.”

Best wishes to the versatile midfielder and his team mates for today’s eagerly anticipated Belfast Derby
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