Linfieldfc.com caught up with the impressive Jimmy Callacher following a 4-0 win over Dungannon Swifts at Windsor Park.
It was quite the day for Jimmy who started a flurry of goals when he popped up with a pinpoint cross that winger Kirk Millar would have been pleased with, when The Blues eventually made the breakthrough on 66 minutes.
“Shayne did the hard work and I literally just tried to dig out a cross to the back post and hope someone would get on the end of it, and as always, Andy Waterworth was on the end of it to put it in the net. It was a good goal which helped us on our way.”
Six minutes later, David Healy’s men added a second goal as Jordan Stewart provided a wonderful assist to Shayne Lavery. TV cameras might not do it justice, but who better to analyse that Jimmy Callacher who was right behind it in defence.
“The second goal soon after gave us a bit of insurance and the goal was pure class. I was right behind it when Jordan Stewart passed it, and the quality of the pass was superb. He’s bent it round with the outside of his right foot, and when Shayne gets into those situations you’re not going to be able to keep up with him. He is so quick and it was a super finish.”
Jimmy then put the icing on the cake with a third goal on 76 minutes and then a fourth on 85 minutes. Both goals were identical, with the vice captain nodding in Kirk Millar corners – and as always, the humble Callacher was praising everyone but himself.
“It’s nice to score goals but I’m more disappointed with the goals conceded this season. If you had offered me a 2-0 win, a clean sheet and two other goal scorers I’d have been equally as happy. As a defender I’d take clean sheets over scoring goals. After losing to Larne we said it was crucial just to get three points on the board.
“At 2-0 you’re happy to try and just see the game out, because if Dungannon had got one back then it’s 2-1 and it’s game on and a nervy finish. But again, credit to Kirk Millar, because he literally told me where he was putting the ball for both corners. He puts the ball in with such quality that you just need to get something on it.”
Linfield now have reason for New Year optimism. Chris Johns returned from injury to keep a clean sheet against Dungannon Swifts and Jimmy is hoping there’s plenty more to follow this season. Added to that, Conor Pepper and Navid Nasseri were both back in the squad following injury and in Joel Cooper, Linfield have signed a star whose talents are already known, as Callacher states.
“David Walsh is a great young lad who will have a great career in the game, but of course having Chris Johns back is also a boost. I thought we looked solid against Dungannon Swifts. Chris has been super for us since he signed and was just unlucky with injury. That led to a chance for ‘Walshy' and he took his chance and did well. Ultimately though Chris is the current number one and hopefully he can help us keep more clean sheets going forward.
“Getting Joel Cooper in is a massive boost as we all know how good he is. He’s always been a sharp player and I think he was in the senior Northern Ireland International squad in recent months. We know exactly what he’ll give us and the sooner he can start playing, the better.”
In another blow to our supporters at the end of a tough and challenging year, it has been announced that the traditional Boxing Day derby with Glentoran is postponed due to Covid restrictions preventing sport for a week from Boxing Day onwards. However, Jimmy was looking at the bigger picture and had well wishes for Linfield supporters ahead of the festive period.
“It will be very strange with no festive games this year, but we have to look at the bigger picture. There is a pandemic going on and people are dying. When we have clarity as to when we are playing again we will be ready to go again, but it gives players a bit more time to enjoy Christmas with their families.
“I would like to wish all the Linfield supporters a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year and most importantly, stay safe.”
Two goals, an assist, a clean sheet, three points and the Linfieldfc.com Man of the Match award - not a bad day at the office for the popular defender. Well done, Jimmy