LINFIELD striker Peter Thompson will be out of action for anything up to four months after damaging a hamstring in Tuesday night’s Danske Premier League defeat by Crusaders at Windsor Park.
The former Northern Ireland striker pulled up after only 17 minutes and was immediately replaced by Gary Browne.
Blues boss David Jeffrey insisted the injury jinx that has hovered over the international arena since the start of the season still hasn’t gone away.
“I’ve never know anything quite like it. Peter felt the hamstring tighten early on and Terry Hayes advised me to get him off right away,” he said.
“He could be out for anything up to four weeks. You simply can’t run off a hamstring problem.”
With skipper Michael Gault and midfielder Philip Lowry out long term, they were recently joined in sick bay by new striker Matthew Tipton. Now Thompson is also in the queue for the treatment table.
“Although Michael played for 60 minutes for the Swifts in midweek, he’s still a long way off match fitness,” adds Jeffrey.
“Philip is still six weeks away. We’ll not see Matthew for another fortnight. Now Peter is also away for three or four weeks.”
Jeffrey refused to criticise his boys after the 2-1 defeat.
Gary McCutcheon shot the Crues into an early second half lead from the penalty spot and, even though Mark McAllister scored a cracking equaliser – a genuine goal of the season contender – Declan Caddell won it for the visitors in the last 15 minutes.
“I was frustrated and disappointed. I thought we played some our best football of the season. Crusaders came and got men behind the ball and hit us on the counter attack,” said Jeffrey.
“I thought we knocked the ball about well and we created quite a few chances. I’m honestly not sure about the penalty – it looked like a soft decision from my angle. It looked like a ‘coming together’ involving Robert Garrett and Paul Heatley.
“It’s a pity no one will remember Mark’s goal because of the result – it was a real screamer.
“I felt we could then go on and win it. I said to the boys at half time, it will either be a piece of brilliance or a mistake that will win the game.
“Unfortunately, it was an error on our part that decided the game – self destruct comes to mind! We are not in a very good place at this time, but it’s where we end up (at the end of the season) what counts.”
n HUDDERSFIELD Town will be in town on Wednesday, October 10, to face Cruasders in Colin Coates’ Testimonial game at Seaview.
It’s a big opportunity for not only Crusaders fans, but all Irish League supporters to show their appreciation to a player that has served to club with distinction for the past 10 years.
“We are indebted to Glyn Snodin, who was assistant manger of the Northern Ireland squad under Nigel Worthington, for all is assistance in arranging the game,” said Coates, who sat out last night’s 2-1 win over Linfield at Windsor Park – the first time the Crues had won at the international venue for 10 years.
Tickets will go on sale next week – £10 adult and £7 concession.