DAVID Jeffrey believes Linfield will have to keep reinventing themselves if they want to keep hold of their title.
The Blues have struggled to hit peak form this season, picking up just one win from five Danske Bank Premiership fixtures.
Their frustrating start was compounded by Tuesday’s 2-1 defeat to Crusaders at Windsor Park.
It leaves the champions labouring in ninth spot in the table, six points adrift of early leaders Cliftonville.
Next up for Jeffrey’s side is another tough assignment at Shamrock Park against perennial title challengers Portadown.
And the Blues boss is under no illusions as they prepare for the trip to Mid Ulster.
“It is going to be a tough, tough game – we never get it easy at Portadown,” Jeffrey said.
“But the players are very positive and the mood in the camp is high.
“Tuesday’s defeat was disappointing. We had chances and didn’t take them and we pressed the self-destruct button a little bit.
“But I thought we played some great football without getting the rewards.
“But speaking to the players, it is very clear that teams are approaching games against Linfield with a certain tactic, one that aims to frustrate us and get the fans on our backs.
“We don’t have difficulty with that. We are constantly having to reinvent ourselves to try and break these teams down.
“That’s life at Linfield.”
The Blues will be without strikers Peter Thompson and Matt Tipton for today’s game, and Mark McAllister is also a doubt.
Portadown have a doubt over influential playmaker Kevin Braniff who is struggling with a hamstring injury.
“Kevin is a doubt but we will give him every chance,” boss Ronnie McFall said.
“We will assess the injury before making any decision.”