Following Saturday’s home game against Portadown, Linfield’s Chris McKee looked ahead to tomorrow’s game in Carrickfergus in conversation with Jamie Megarry of official Linfield media.
One player particularly eager for Friday night’s league match away to Carrick Rangers to come along quickly is January loan signing Chris McKee. As a native of Carrickfergus, the forward won’t have far to travel.
“I can’t wait. I grew up in Carrickfergus and as a kid, I’d have watched Carrick Rangers as well as the Blues. I fully expect a tough game for us on Carrick’s pitch but it’s one we are looking forward to. Every game is crucial.”
The 19 year-old should come into the match in good spirits having scored the winner for the Blues in a 1-0 win over Portadown at Windsor Park last weekend. McKee’s second goal for the club sent David Healy’s team back to the top of the table on goal difference. Some questioned whether it was McKee’s goal, but he has no doubt and replays would back him up as the ball appeared to strike him after a Portadown block.
“It was great to get back to the top of the table. That’s where we belong and we want to really push on and go all the way for the title now that we are back at the top. Obviously, you take each game as it comes. Three points is three points no matter who you play and they’re all equally valuable.
“It was definitely my goal, I am claiming it. I was buzzing. As I’ve been on record saying before, growing up as a Linfield boy there’s nothing better and nothing I want more than to be scoring goals for this great club, so I was delighted to get the winner.
“Sometimes you need to grind out 1-0 wins, we did that against Portadown albeit a fairly comfortable win and it could be another important win, but yes, we want to be more ruthless when we have a lot of the ball. Every point matters and you hope at the end of the season you’ve done enough. For now, it’s one game at a time and full focus on all ten ‘cup finals’ when they come along.”
The on-loan Rangers attacker says a number of experienced Linfield players have been helping him in his development and he had complimentary words for legendary captain Jamie Mulgrew who last week surpassed Tommy Dickson on Linfield’s All-Time appearance list with game number 661, moving up to second behind Noel Bailie MBE.
“It’s an amazing achievement. I have known Jamie for a very long time, he’s a very top professional and he’s been here for years. He’s still going strong and I’m very happy for him, he deserves it for his commitment over the years.
“All the older pros like Jimmy Callacher, Jamie Mulgrew, Chris Shields to name a few, are great for me to learn off, especially in training. I take all the tips off them I get and it’s a great learning curve to play alongside them.”
Best wishes to Chris and the team for tomorrow night’s league match against Carrick Rangers at the Loughshore Leisure Arena, Carrickfergus. The match kicks off at 19:45 and spectators can pay at the turnstiles at the set rate of £12 for adults and £8 for concessions. The match will be live streamed on the BBC iPlayer platform.
Below are a selection of images of Chris’s winning goal by local photographer Brian Little.