DAVID Jeffrey believes it is “imperative” Linfield claim maximum reward from Monday night’s Sky Sports showdown with Coleraine.
The Blues travel to the Showgrounds in the knowledge that all of their chief title rivals won at the weekend.
It leaves the champions seeking consistency to remain in the slipstreams of the teams above.
“When you look at the results from Saturday, all the teams we expect to be challenging won,” Jeffrey said.
“I believe Cliftonville, Crusaders, Glentoran and Portadown will be thereabouts at the end.
“So that turns up the pressure on us to perform and get a result on Monday night, and it is imperative that we get the three points.
“It is such a tight league this season with everyone beating everyone else, but we want to obtain a level of consistency.
“It has been a frustrating season to date.
“We have had good games and bad ones, and we have played well in games without winning.”
Linfield have already enjoyed success at the Showgrounds this season.
Michael Carvill bagged an extra time winner as the Blues defeated the Bannsiders 1-0 in the IRN-BRU League Cup.
“That was a tough game but we played well that night and got the win,” Jeffrey added.
“We never have an easy time at the Showgrounds, and Coleraine have proved this season they are a match for anyone.
“They have played some wonderful football and I don’t think anyone is surprised to see them where they are in the league.
“They are in a similar position to us, where they will want to win after the weekend results.
“They will want to remain in contention, and that makes for a great game of football.”
Jeffrey is hoping to have Mark McAllister available for tonight’s game.
McAllister has been sidelined with a hamstring injury but is now ready for a return to first team action.
“Mark has done well and he has played a few games for the Swifts,” Jeffrey said.
“We will take a check on him on Monday before the game and see if he is ready.
“Philip Lowry is also progressing nicely but is maybe a wee bit off first team action.
“We have had a tough time with injuries this season but hopefully we are starting to get a few players back and that will help.”
Meanwhile, Coleraine manager Oran Kearney admits tonight’s game has generated a “buzz” in the North West.
“There’s always a buzz about evening matches, and even more so when it’s a Sky game,” Kearney told the club’s official website.
“It’s great for the players to get the chance to play on national TV and it’s a great opportunity to promote the league as well.
“The crowd at the league cup game was fantastic and hopefully we can get an even bigger attendance next Monday with a great atmosphere to really get the players going.
“When we played Linfield in August after they had lost to Ballymena, a lot of people expected us to feel the full force of a backlash.
“We know what to expect from them. Although they’ll be missing a couple of players through suspension after the incidents on Saturday, they have enough strength in depth to bring quality in for quality.
“They’ll be expecting to kick on in the league now in this second part of the season and we’re going to have to hit top form.”