Linfield boss David Jeffrey insists there is no ‘hiding place’ at Windsor Park these days!
The Blues suffered yet another defeat, beaten 1-0 by Crusaders in the semi final of the IRN-BRU League Cup on Tuesday night – the latest in a series of horrible results that has left their season on the verge of meltdown.
Jordan Owens grabbed the winner to take the Crues into their second successive league cup final.
But the defeat comes only weeks after Linfield lost to Ballymena United in the County Antrim Shield final.
And, with their Premier League title slipping ominously out of reach – the Blues are a massive 14 points behind runaway leaders Cliftonville – Jeffrey’s boys are facing a critical Festive period.
It’s hardly surprising that questions are now being asked of a team that has won the league and cup double six times in that last seven years!
“We don’t do excuses, but it would be fair to say we have had our fair share in injuries from the start of the season,” said Jeffrey.
“We also realised that we haven’t played consistently well.
“We are not running away or hiding. We are not making excuses. No one is hiding behind the parapet at Windsor Park. But the fact is, we are 14 points behind Cliftonville. We got to one final (Co Antrim Shield), which we didn’t do last year. We got to a semi final (IRN-BRU Cup), which we also didn’t do.
“When you win six doubles in seven years, that statistic becomes even more stark. Let’s be brutally frank and honest, because of our previous success, it’s more of a story when Linfield are not doing well.”
Jeffrey had a pop at the snipers who have taken a cheap shot at him and his team on some social networking sites.
He added: “I’ve been doing this job for almost 16 years – and won 30 trophies. I’m not going to worry what some person writes on an internet or social network site. I really don’t give a fiddlers – they are just anonymous people.
“We are going through a bad period. Barcelona, Manchester United or Celtic don’t win their respective league every year. Are Linfield any different?
“We’ve achieved what no one else has done, six doubles in seven years – people shouldn’t forget that.
“I wonder what has happened to the IFA money that people so boringly go on about every year? We mustn’t have spent it this season?”
Jeffrey admits he was surprised that referee Mark Courtney passed the pitch playable on Tuesday, even though it was covered in frost before kick-off.
“It should not have been played,” he added.
“I would have said the same thing even if we had won the game.
“There was a mindset to get it played. The pitch became increasingly frozen as the night went on. It was dangerous and farcical.
“I want to make it clear I’m not using it as a cover for our defeat because it was the same for both teams. Both sets of players deserve great credit for performing so well.”