IRISH LEAGUE: If Linfield win the title, they could dominate again, warns Burns

Press Eye - Belfast -  Northern Ireland - 08th April 2017 - Photo by William Cherry

Linfield's Aaron Burns celebrates scoring against Crusaders during Saturdays Danske Bank Premiership game at the National Stadium, Belfast.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 08th April 2017 - Photo by William Cherry Linfield's Aaron Burns celebrates scoring against Crusaders during Saturdays Danske Bank Premiership game at the National Stadium, Belfast.

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Should Linfield wrestle the title from Crusaders’ grasp, it could be an ominous sign for the rest of the league.

That’s the warning from the man who downed the current champions in the top two clash last week.

Aaron Burns’ 11th Premiership goal of the season earned a victory that brought the Blues’ within a point of the leading Crues.

“There is a real buzz about,” he said. “We have a squad full of talented players, who are all very competitive so we’re all fighting for places in training.

“We have a squad of boys who are maturing now and turning into quality Irish league players. A couple of years ago, maybe we were too young but we’re progressing now. If we manage to win the league this season, I think we could go on to dominate for three or four years.”

The 1-0 win stretches Linfield’s formidable unbeaten run to 15 matches and all but one of those were victories.

It was also their fourth win on the trot over Crusaders - a run not lost on the scorer.

“That so-called fear we have of playing Crusaders is turning,” he said. “They are the ones that are afraid of playing us and don’t want to play us now.

“The last time we beat them in the league, we thought it could be a turning point. Then we beat them in the County Antrim Shield final and now we’re thinking we’ve got their number. We’re very confident now. Yes, they had injuries but so had we. When you’re top of the league, you need to have players who can come in. We were the better side on Saturday, pushing to win the game.”

Next up to try and condemn the Blues’ to their first defeat since January 3 are Ballymena and former Linfield boss David Jeffrey.

“There will be no favours there,” insisted Burns.

“David will be pushing to finish as high as they can but we have a lot of belief in ourselves.”

Ballymena have won just two of their last seven since their League Cup success. They are fifth in the table, six points behind Cliftonville.