Kirk Millar's magic moment delights David Healy

David Healy says it was fitting Kirk Millar scored the winning goal in what was one of Linfield's most impressive victories on the European stage.

By Steven Crawford
Thursday, 21st July 2022, 12:25 pm
Updated Thursday, 21st July 2022, 1:08 pm

Lifelong Blues fan Millar has produced some big moments down the years for the Danske Bank Premiership champions but perhaps none as huge as his strike against Bodø/Glimt at Windsor Park on Tuesday night.

The winger produced an exquisite lobbed finish with seven minutes to go to give Linfield a one-goal advantage heading into next week's second-leg against the Norwegian champions.

It was a sublime piece of ingenuity from the 30-year-old, even though his manager admitted he questioned what he was doing at the time!

Kirk Millar celebrates his spectacular goal against Bodø/Glimt

"I'm delighted with the result and the performance and I'm so pleased for the players and so pleased for Kirk Millar," Healy told the club's Youtube channel.

"He works the line and sometimes he gives the ball away, which players normally do in a football match.

"But one thing he always does is works hard for the shirt, his teammates, the club and more importantly me as his manager. He empties the tank on the pitch.

"When the ball fell to him tonight and he chipped it, I thought 'what the hell is he doing', and I'm sure the 3,000 Linfield fans here thought the same!

"But he showed great composure, which we asked. There was no better moment to score and no more fitting person to score the winning goal than Kirk."

It's not the first time Millar has produced a moment of magic on the European stage.

Three years ago he struck a double against Montenegrin champions FK Sutjeska in Podgorica, one of which was another spectacular dink, to seal a 2-1 win and help propel the Blues to a Europa League play-off clash with Qarabag.

"He reminded me of that goal last week," said Healy.

"Other people may not at times appreciate Kirk the way I do, his work ethic, his all-round personality and persona is incredible."

Healy and his players know it is only half-time in the tie against Bodø/Glimt, who have rolled over Roma and Celtic in the last 12 months.

Linfield produced an intelligent and composed performance against Kjetil Knutsen's side in Belfast and the Blues boss knows they will need that and more at the Aspmyra Stadion next Wednesday.

"I'm delighted, the application of the players was incredible," said Healy.

"We had to suffer at times without the ball, we didn't have it for that long, we didn't have it for the periods we probably had it against TNS last week.

"We spoke about that, the players were disciplined in their shape, we didn't want people leaving their slots.

"We went through little bits on Monday discussing the players and their strengths.

"We gave up a lot of ball tonight and we gave up some opportunities in and around the box, we got a few blocks and they got a few shots off.

"But I don't think we gave up any real clear-cut opportunities, and if we did our midfielders, our wide players and our back four were diving in like men possessed to keep the ball out of the net.

"The players are fully aware that it's probably going to be even harder out there and we'll have to be better.