DAVID Jeffrey hopes Linfield can wake from their European slumber before conceding any more ground in the Danske Bank Premiership.
Despite making a raft of changes the champions once again failed to score as they fought out a 0-0 draw with Coleraine on Saturday.
The Blues have now gone six games without finding the target this season.
Last week they were humbled by Ballymena United – a result that prompted Jeffrey to make SIX changes for the visit of the Bannsiders.
There will be no panic buttons pressed at Windsor just yet, however.
Linfield are perennial slow starters – they traditionally take time to hit the ground running following their European exertions.
And while one point from two opening Premiership games may frustrate fans, boss Jeffrey believes it is only a matter of time before his side find their feet.
“That’s six games where we haven’t scored, but we have Matthew Tipton, Gary Browne, Mark McAllister and Peter Thompson who have scored loads of goals – so it will come,” he said.
“What pleased me was the attitude and effort today, and we played some decent football.
“I have told the players it is a step forward, even though it might be a small one. But it is progress and we have to keep going.
“I sometimes wonder if Europe was a blessing or not. It seems to be the same every season.
“We prepare for a certain style of football in Europe, and then when we come to the domestic season it takes time to adjust.”
An attritional clash at Windsor saw both sides fail to translate possession into genuine goal scoring chances.
William Murphy went close with a fifth-minute header for Linfield while Coleraine striker Curtis Allen tried his luck with a speculative shot that sailed wide at the other end.
Goalkeeper Alan Blayney ensured Linfield did not suffer a second successive league defeat when he blocked Mark Gillan’s point-blank header in the 73rd minute – the best chance of the game.
“I made six changes, but it wasn’t a reaction – it was a response,” Jeffrey said of his squad rotation.
“Success is built on a squad here and we have competition for places.
“You have to think about the people in the side, but also the ones vying for a place.
“We drew a line under the Ballymena game, but if I was sitting in the wings and looking at that performance I would have been annoyed if I didn’t get a chance this week.
“That’s why we made the changes – a simple response.
“One of the positive things was the performance of young Niall Quinn at left-back. He came in for his debut and did superbly well.
“There were positives all over the place, so it wasn’t a reaction.”
Coleraine boss Oran Kearney had no complaints with Saturday’s stalemate.
“I thought it was going to be a cagey game,” he said.
“The build-up surrounded Linfield and talk of a ‘backlash’ and things like that, so I knew it would be a cagey affair with nothing in it.
“I think we created more half-chances than we normally do at Windsor Park, but our final ball and decision making at times let us down.
“I was pleased for Mark Gillan who came on for his senior debut and he caused Linfield a few problems.
“His header almost crept in. That would have been a fantastic start for Mark to score the winner at Windsor on his debut, but it wasn’t to be.”