Aaron Burns hoping Linfield can lay down title marker during festive season

Linfield midfielder Aaron Burns
Linfield midfielder Aaron Burns

Determined Aaron Burns hopes Linfield can lay down a title marker over the crunch Christmas period.

The Blues eased to the top of the Danske Bank Premiership with last week’s 3-0 win over Ballinamallard United.

Warren Feeney’s side are now facing up to a massive festive period that could either bolster or dent their title aspirations.

It starts with Saturday’s home showdown with Portadown, followed by a Big Two derby with Glentoran at Windsor Park on Boxing Day.

After that comes a tricky trip to Crusaders on New Year’s Day.

Linfield have yet to beat any of their chief rivals this season.

They fell to a 3-0 defeat to Portadown on the opening day of the season – the last time they lost away from home in the league.

The Windsor side have also drawn and lost to both Cliftonville and Crusaders.

Burns – who is set to make his 150th appearance opn Saturday – admits it is a lacklustre record Linfield need to address.

“If we want to win the title then we have to start beating the teams around us in the table,” the midfielder said.

“We are doing well against the other teams in the league, but we need to start beating the likes of Portadown and Cliftonville if we want to go all the way.

“We know that record needs sorting, and we can hopefully do that over Christmas and the New Year.

“There are some massive games coming up, but we know if we can pick up a couple of good results then it will stand us in good stead for the second half of the season.

“The gaffer is also trying to strengthen during the transfer window so that will boost the squad too.”

Burns has been one of Linfield’s top performers this season.

The 22-year-old has only missed one game in all competitions and has already bagged 12 goals – one shy of his season total last year.

“It has been going well for me, and hopefully it can continue,” Burns added.

“I have been lucky with injuries which has meant I can play more games. It is also good chipping in with a few goals.

“I like the style of football we are playing this season. We are passing it more and it seems to suit me better.”

Burns made his Linfield debut on December 13, 2008 against Coleraine, and has gone on to win three titles, one Irish Cup and a County Antrim Shield medal.

He admits his 150th appearance will be a special occasion.

“There are only four current players who have played over 100 games for the club, so it shows you the amount of change there has been,” he added.

“But I am delighted to have made so many appearances. Hopefully there are more to come.”