Linfield skipper Jamie Mulgrew was overwhelmed with delight after he helped his side to a momentous 2-1 comeback victory on the road at Montenegrin champions FK Sutjeska in the second leg of their Europa League third round qualifying clash.
Mulgrew watched his side come back from 1-0 down — Damir Kojasevic struck a super free-kick — to chalk up the triumph and then was quick to calm the celebrations somewhat with the job only half done and the tie still in the air with the second leg to follow in Belfast next week.
Linfield had a brace from Blues goal-getter Kirk Millar to thank, in part at least, for the win. And a measured Mulgrew, speaking to reporters after the victory, said:
“It’s really important that we don’t get carried away. That said it’s a fantastic night for us and a fantastic result for the club. After conceding an early goal, the way we defended and worked as a unit was excellent, especially after conceding an early goal. We did ourselves proud and to get an away win is fantastic but there is still the second leg to play, of course.”
With that tie in mind, Mulgrew urged his team-mates to go through their recovery drills properly to ensure they are fit for the fight ahead. After seeing Millar level the scores at 1-1 following Kojasevic s wonderful effort 11 minutes and then nabbing what turned out to be the winner on 65 minutes, Millar pointed to the league game versus Institute FC on Saturday.
He added that once the league action had unfolded, the squad would turn their attention to the second leg coming up on Tuesday of next week. He added that sticking to the gameplay was crucial and also made special mention of Shayne Lavery managing to cause the home defence so many problems with his speed.
“Even when we went behind we stuck to our game plan and we continued to believe in each other. The threat of the pace of Lavery caused them problems.”
Meanwhile, Glenavon take on Glentoran in league action on Friday and do so with the boost that came with the news that Glenavon extended James Singleton’s contract at the club.
Singleton has penned a new deal that will see him stay at Mourneview Park for four more years as well as being granted a testimonial for serving 10 years with Glenavon.
Boss Gary Hamilton praised the player and, speaking to the club’s official website, he added:
“We’re obviously delighted with the news and I’m sure the supporters will be as well. He has been in the first team picture since he was 16 and he’s someone I’ve always had high aspirations for. If he hadn’t broken his leg while playing for the Northern Ireland U21s he could have made it across the water because he has the attributes and the drive and hunger to be the best.”