Linfield boss David Jeffrey plays down favourite tag before Shield final

BLUES BOSS: David Jeffrey
BLUES BOSS: David Jeffrey

Linfield have been installed as 4/9 favourites for Tuesday night’s County Antrim Shield final - just don’t go telling that to David Jeffrey.

The Blues have been tipped to see off the challenge of Ballymena United - who are priced at 6/1 - at the Oval.

Ballymena’s last appearance in a cup final came six years ago - ironically in a Shield decider against Linfield.

As for the Blues, their dominance of the Premiership and Irish Cup in recent times has been imperious.

Last season’s double champions have also had the upper hand over Ballymena this season.

Glenn Ferguson’s men enjoyed an opening day win against the Blues, but Linfield responded with a 6-0 League Cup rout and a 2-1 league triumph at the weekend.

Statistics and history favour the all-conquering Windsor Park giants, but Jeffrey insists anyone claiming his side will be favourites as “talking nonsense”.

He added: “There is very little between the sides. I have spoken to people who have told me that Linfield will be favourites.

“But has anyone seen the league table?

“We are on the same number of points. So anyone who says that is talking nonsense.

“So it will be a tight game, and we are certainly not going in as favourites.

“That’s not amateur psychology. Look at the evidence and we deal in facts, so there is nothing between the sides.”

Jeffrey’s comments have prompted a terse response from Ballymena boss Ferguson.

Ferguson is only too aware of the expectation levels at Windsor, having spent 11 years with the Blues en route to becoming one of the club’s legendary strikers.

“I think David has to have a good look at himself. Linfield will be undoubted favourites.

“He is kidding himself if he thinks otherwise,” Ferguson said.