David Jeffrey: Linfield are still the big scalp in Danske Bank Premiership

BIG TEAM: Linfield boss David Jeffrey
BIG TEAM: Linfield boss David Jeffrey

Linfield manager David Jeffrey insists his team are still ‘public enemy number one’ even though their Premiership defence is hanging tantalising by a thread.

The title holders trail runaway leaders Cliftonville by 15 points ahead of Saturday’s clash against Dungannon Swifts at Stangmore Park and, the reality is, the Gibson Cup is slowly slipping away.

“We are still the team that everyone wants to beat – and it will be no different against Dungannon,” said Jeffrey. “Credit to Cliftonville . . . they have been mightily impressive. However, I’ve watched certain teams struggle in games, but when they play us, they work their socks off – they want to beat us more than anyone else.

“It has reinforced my message to the players in terms of fearing failure. There is a lesson to learn – we must regroup and be mentally strong. We may not be top of the league, but everyone still wants to take our scalp.”

Linfield will be without the injured defender Johnny Black for the game, while goalkeeper Alan Blayney is still recovering from a hand problem.

“I’m thrilled with the contribution of Ross Glendinning,” added Jeffrey. “We could have rushed out and brought in a goalkeeper on a short term basis, but that may have hampered the progress of Ross.”