Kirk Millar programme article

Posted : 8th May 2021

In this issue of ‘Look at Linfield’ we catch up with influential winger Kirk Millar, whose corner delivery to set up Mark Stafford’s opener against Crusaders on Tuesday evening meant he has now recorded 20+ assists in four of the last six seasons.

The Blues won 3-1 with further goals from Shayne Lavery and Joel Cooper to put them a win away from the title which could be clinched against Larne next Saturday, but Kirk says that’s on the back-burner and full focus is on Dungannon Swifts and the Irish Cup now.

“Over the last couple of games we have shown real grit and character and over the last couple of years we’ve really pushed on in the split. It was another excellent three points on the board against Crusaders on Tuesday night.

“We aren’t worrying about how the league is at the moment though, because the Irish Cup comes before the Larne game and we are fully focused on trying to do well in the Cup. It’s an old cliché but we really are taking it game by game.

“Dean Shiels has come in and taken over at Dungannon Swifts these past few months and they are playing a brand of football that is very attractive. That said, we play good football ourselves and I think that provides the ingredients for a good spectacle when we meet.”

28 year-old Millar has tasted success in the Irish Cup before, having been a member of the 2016-17 winning Linfield team but he was an unused substitute in the final and he admits he’d love to play in the final. It’s something that drives him on, although he’s only immediately focusing on the game ahead against Dungannon.

“The last time we won the Irish Cup was four years ago, beating Coleraine 3-0 in the 2016-17 Irish Cup final. Everyone would love to get to the final again obviously, and yes, having missed out on playing in the last Irish Cup final, it does drive me on to get there. We are a long way off thinking about that at this stage but it goes without saying that it’s the end goal to get there and I’m sure lots of clubs have the same ambition. You play football to try and win, to be successful and win as many trophies as you can.

“This could turn into a very good season for us despite a lot of people writing us off at the start of the season. We are working hard to try and finish this season as strongly as possibly with just a few weeks to go and after Tuesday’s win over Crusaders we want to kick on.”

Along with a wonderful technical ability and great crosses into the box, Kirk also offers the team a tireless work-rate as he gets up and down constantly, as our right full-backs will testify and appreciate, along with manager David Healy. However, even the energetic winger has found it tough going, having made 40 appearances in a demanding fixture schedule.

“I have been happy with my own season on a personal level. I have played the majority of the games, I think I’ve maybe played every game except for one. That’s been really tough on my legs as the schedule has been hectic for us and next season the league need to look after the players because this season has been very hard on everyone. If you want good results and a good product you need to look after the players because they provide the entertainment.

“Being a full-time team would help because it gives players more time to recover. I enjoyed full-time football when I was at Oldham Athletic and it will be good to get back in that structure again.”

Should Linfield do well in the Irish Cup, there could be a possibility that Kirk could reach 300 appearances for The Blues by the end of the season and we wish him every success for an important few weeks ahead as the season draws to a close.
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