Jamie Mulgrew admitted his Testimonial match turned into a procession, but it was still a special occasion for the long-serving midfielder!
Mark Warburton’s Rangers arrived at Windsor Park on a mission, with veteran striker Kenny Miller’s four goal salvo, threatening to overshadow Mulgrew’s big day.
New signing Nico Krancjar was also on the score sheet, with Rob Kiernan and Joe Garner adding to the home team’s woe. With a big Old Firm derby looming next week, Warburton’s men certainly didn’t travel for a jolly!
“It was a bit of a learning curve for us,” said Mulgrew. “But we must learn from it and take the positives from our performance. It will certainly not do us any harm in terms of our fitness. It will help in our preparation for our game against Portadown.
“Young Jonny Frazer showed he can be an asset to the club. He perhaps needs to show a little bit more composure at times in certain positions, but he’s still a young boy and still learning.
“If he continues to show the same work ethic and quality, there is no reason why he cant’ be fighting for a place.”
Mulgrew joined by Blues in June 2005, but even after a well deserved Testimonial season, he admits he is still as hungry to get the team back to where they belong - at the top of the Danske Premiership table.
“That’s the end of my year, but my hunger and desire to do well for this club will never change,” he adds. “Everyone knows how I feel about the club.
“Every game is a massive one for us, it’s important we kick on and focus on bringing the title back to Windsor Park.
“It was a proud and special day for me. It’s also a proud day for my Testimonial Committee, who put in a massive amount of hard work to make the game happen.
“They put in all the graft behind the scenes, especially over the last few weeks and the match approached. It was nothing short of phenomenal . . . and I appreciate all their efforts.
“It was a really special day for both Linfield and Rangers fans. There was a great atmosphere . . . a carnival occasion. The only disappointing thing was the result.
“But I think Rangers’ class was there for everyone to see. I’ve played against Rangers on a few occasions, but it’s certainly the best team that I played against.
“They had a real passion. They came over with an attitude off wanting to win the game. They had a eagerness about them . . . they were relentless. They were very professional about the way their went about their business.
“Rangers obviously have a massive Old Firm game against Celtic coming up next week. It will be their first visit to Celtic Park for four years.
“I think that was their motivation. They used the game as preparation for that, it was a confidence builder.”
Mulgrew also paid tribute to four goal Miller, the former Scottish international striker, adding: “He is a class act.
“For a 36 year old to show that hunger, desire and attitude is a credit to him.
“He is a great example to every other player on the pitch and to any young kids watching from the grandstand.”
Linfield: Carroll, Glendinning (Casement 71), Stafford (Stewart 53), Callacher, Clarke, Fallon, Mulgrew (Quinn 74), Lowry (Ward 46), Carson (Gaynor 46), Burns (Bright 46) Millar (Frazer 23).
Rangers: Gilks, Tavernier, Senderos (Hill 57), Kiernan, Halliday, Forrester (Garner 57) Barton, Krancjar, Windass (Waghorn 57), Garner (O’Halloran 8), Miller (Bates 68).
Referee: Ian McNabb (Carrickfergus).