DAVID Jeffrey has admitted that the pressure on Linfield going into last week was huge.
Linfield started the week bottom of the table, but wins over Warrenpoint Town and Ards have given the under fire manager some breathing space.
After Linfield’s 3-1 victory over Ards Jeffrey said: “The pressure against Warrenpoint was huge and in the first half it was obvious that all the paper talk and stick we were getting for being bottom of the league had got to the players.
“But in the second half we were very good and we’ve taken another step forward today with a good battling performance against Ards.”
Linfield took the lead in the sixth minute when Matthew Tipton crossed for Aaron Burns, who controlled before slotting past Ards débutante Simon Steele.
In the 16th minute Craig McMillen’s jinking run was brought to an abrupt end when Billy Joe Burns fouled the Ards winger inside the box.
Ards captain James Cully stepped up and drilled the ball past Johnny Tuffey.
The Blues had to wait until the 69th minute before making their breakthrough. Michael Carvill whipped in a magnificent cross from the right hand flank that was headed in by Matthew Tipton.
Linfield put the game beyond doubt in the 79th minute when an unopposed Aaron Burns nodded home Carvill’s in-swinging corner-kick.
Ards boss Niall Currie said: “We had our fair sure of bad luck. We lost David Armstrong after eight minutes, and then we lost James Cully when we went 2-1 down.
“At that stage you’d like to have your big centre forward in attack, but we had to bring Mark McClelland back into defence.”
Ards : Steele; Hall, Hunter, Armstrong (6 Arthurs), K. McDowell; Roy (58 Davidson), J. Cully (76 Mitchell), Smith, Henderson, McMillen; McClelland
Subs Not Used : Moffatt, P. McDowell
Linfield : Tuffey; BJ Burns, Ward, Gault, Quinn; Carvill, Mulgrew, A.Burns, Brown, McAllister (70 Thompson), Tipton (75 McCaul)
Subs Not Used : Clarke, Knowles, Ervin
Ref : Raymond Hetherington (Dungannon)