IRISH LEAGUE: Michael McLellan relishing the challenge at Linfield

Michael McLellan
Michael McLellan

Michael McLellan admits he relishing the challenge of becoming a regular for Linfield.

McLellan is bedding in at Windsor Park following his move from Harland and Wolff Welders last week.

The striker made a cameo appearance from the bench in Linfield’s Danske Bank Premiership win over Carrick Rangers last Saturday.

He earned another 15 minutes at the end of Tuesday’s Premiership rout of Dungannon Swifts, bagging his first goal for the Blues with a cool finish in injury time.

David Healy already has a deadly arsenal of attacking armoury at his disposal, including Andy Waterworth and young star Paul Smyth.

Guy Bates adds a wealth of experience to the line-up, and now McLellan is hoping to forge his way into Healy’s thinking in the weeks ahead.

“There is a lot of competition for places here, so it is a challenge,” McLellan said.

“Andy Waterworth is banging them in for fun, and Paul Smyth is a big talent who is also delivering the goods. Guy Bates is also there.

“But that is healthy and I am relishing the challenge.

“I don’t expect to be starting games as I have only arrived, but I have to be ready when my time comes.”

McLellan admits it was a relief to get off the mark at the second attempt since signing for the Blues.

“I played about 15 minutes against Carrick on Saturday and it was good to get on the pitch, but it is great to get off the mark with a goal against Dungannon,” he added.

“People might think Linfield are taking a gamble on me, but I don’t think about things like that. I am not out to prove anyone wrong, I am just looking to work hard.

“It is a big move for me but one I am enjoying so far. It is a big difference, moving from the Welders to Linfield. You are playing for the biggest club in the country, and it is very professional here. That will hopefully make me more professional too.

“We are training three nights a week, instead of two. So I will get fitter.”

McLellan sets himself high standards when he steps over the white line, with the target of scoring in every game he plays in.

“I don’t set any long-term targets. The only one I have is to score in every game I play. I was disappointed not to score on Saturday even though I only played for 15 minutes,” he said.

“Thankfully I got off the mark against Dungannon and hopefully now I can carry that into my next game. Sadly I am cup tied for the game against Armagh in the Irish Cup, but I will look to the next game and try and carry on from where I left off tonight.”