IRISH LEAGUE: Sky Blues ‘believe’ for Linfield test

Ballymena's Allan Jenkins fancies his side's chances against anyone at the minute. Photo by Kevin Scott / Presseye.
Ballymena's Allan Jenkins fancies his side's chances against anyone at the minute. Photo by Kevin Scott / Presseye.
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‘Belief’ is the key word around the Ballymena Showgrounds.

David Jeffrey’s men have it in abundance, even with Linfield coming to town tonight (Tuesday - kick-off 7.45pm).

The Sky Blues could leapfrog their Belfast opponents and hit second with a win but skipper Allan Jenkins says they are looking even higher than that.

“It’s another tough one but we want to get ourselves up into second and then see how Crusaders do at Glenavon,” he said. “There are fixtures coming up that we’re looking to get maximum points from but we will have to be on our game against Linfield.

“Paul Smyth is a huge threat who we haven’t faced this season so we have to be wary of him.”

The 19 year-old striker scored a late equaliser for the nine men of Linfield to earn an unlikely 2-2 draw at Glenavon on Saturday.

“That result shows character and ability,” admits Jenkins but then Ballymena have already beaten the Blues this season - a 4-1 thrashing in the County Antrim Shield.

Jenkins knows that’s only history in relation to tonight’s game but if nothing else, it will have added to their ‘belief.’

“We had that run of four home games against Cliftonville, Glentoran, Linfield and Crusaders and beat them all,” he said.

“David (Jeffrey) has told us that these games against the top teams look after themselves because everyone gets themselves up for them. He has given us that belief but we have to make sure we do that against the teams who have historically been in and around us as well.

“We’ve got ourselves into a good position but if we want to do anything near the top end of the table, we have to take maximum points from games like that.”

Ballymena will have another chance to prove they can claim the victory when they’re the much fancied side on Saturday.

They host second bottom Carrick Rangers on Saturday (kick-off 3pm).

“They got a fantastic result on Friday, winning in Ballinamallard, so they will be looking to build on that,” said Jenkins, “but we’re just looking at Linfield now.

“We can never get too far ahead of ourselves because you can get brought down to earth very quickly, like we did at Glenavon.”