Pressure of representing Linfield makes you a better person and player, says skipper Jamie Mulgrew as they look to continue pursuit of the Gibson Cup

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Linfield captain Jamie Mulgrew believes the pressure of winning trophies at the Blues makes footballers "better players" as they aim to clinch a domestic treble.

David Healy's side claimed the first major silverware of the season last weekend as they beat Portadown in the BetMcLean Cup final at Windsor Park.

It would prove to be a profitable weekend for Linfield as Larne failed to move four points clear at the summit of the Sports Direct Premiership table as they were held to a goalless draw against Coleraine at The Showgrounds.

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Elsewhere, Linfield face Glentoran in the semi-final of the Irish Cup for a spot in the showpiece decider against either Larne or Cliftonville in May.

Linfield skipper Jamie Mulgrew has targeted all three points as the Blues host Newry City this afternoonLinfield skipper Jamie Mulgrew has targeted all three points as the Blues host Newry City this afternoon
Linfield skipper Jamie Mulgrew has targeted all three points as the Blues host Newry City this afternoon

Mulgrew used recent signing Ethan McGee as an example of how important it is to hit the ground running at an expectant Linfield as the full-back continues to excel since his January arrival from Dungannon Swifts.

"People have to realise whenever you come in through this building (Windsor Park) that's what happens," Mulgrew said in terms of criticism of Linfield.

"You could use Ethan McGee as an example - he has grasped what's expected straight away and his performances have been superb, coming from Dungannon.

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"I think if you don't grasp that very, very quickly then the place can swallow you up.

"If you want to say, people know what they're getting themselves in for whenever they are signing here.

"Many people haven't signed here because they're maybe not up to that...which I can't understand.

"Being here and having that pressure and all those things that come with it I think makes you a better person and a better player.

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"But, again, we draw a game on a Saturday, it's all the negativity and everything that comes with it...other clubs get away with that, we don't.

"And that's the way it is, that's life and I've no issues with that whatsoever.

"It's just how you bounce back and how you deal with it is the most important thing."

Linfield’s squad has contained several of the club’s rising stars in recent months such as Josh Archer and Rhys Annett, so with that in mind, evergreen Mulgrew acknowledged the importance of those players getting a craving for success so early in their careers.

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He added: "Hopefully it will give you that hunger to continue to push and to continue to try and repeat the feeling that it gives you and how satisfying it can be.

"I won my first league and Irish Cup whenever I was 19 so I think it gives you good grounding and that experience as well of how to get over the line.

"Hopefully the likes of myself and the other boys who have won other things can help the younger ones deal with that pressure and see how we deal with it and make it more comfortable and maybe easier with them to deal with the situation."

Newry boosted their hopes of avoiding relegation last time out as they sealed a 1-0 win over Carrick Rangers, cutting the gap at the bottom-of-the-table to two points as they continue to chase down Ballymena United.