Blues Jimmy Callacher insists lead at top of table means nothing before Glentoran clash

Linfield defender Jimmy Callacher
Linfield defender Jimmy Callacher
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Defender Jimmy Callacher believes Linfield’s four point lead at the top of the Danske Premiership table means little at this time of the season.

Warren Feeney’s boys opened up the gap following their thrilling victory over title candidates Portadown at the weekend, but Callacher knows the advantage can evaporate rapidly in this fascinating race for the Gibson Cup.

The Blues now go into crucial Festive double-header, starting with a Big Two showdown with rivals Glentoran on Boxing day, followed by an equally testing examination against Crusaders on January 1.

And, just to add a little spice to the fixture, the Glens are coming off the back of a brilliant home win over reigning champions Cliftonville.

“We my lead the table, but form means nothing in any Big Two game - especially on Boxing Day,” said Callacher. “Glentoran will be coming to Windsor in a good run of form.

“Being honest, they probably should have beaten us here a couple of week ago. We know we are in for a tough game, but it’s one we are looking forward to.

“You don’t need motivation for these type of games. You don’t need a team talk. It’s simple. You win the game and you stay top of the league.

“Obviously, Glentoran had a great result against Cliftonville, so they’ll be up for it.

“I don’t think they are as far away as some people think in terms of challenging for the title.

“They are a great club . . . I have a lot of time for people at the club. The results for both teams at the weekend really does set things up nicely for what should be a great game on Boxing Day.

“These games are always close and I’m sure it will be a typical hard fought encounter and one that the manager will have us well prepared for.”

Glentoran manager Eddie Patterson will be looking to take his second big scalp in five days following Danny McKee’s last gasp winner against Cliftonville on Saturday.

“There’s no better way to win a game than by scoring a goal in the last minute,” said Patterson. “It was only Danny’s second or third touch, but he finished it well.

“That’s three league wins in a row and it sets us up nicely for the big Boxing Day match with the Blues at Windsor Park.”

“Our aim is to finish in the top six. We need a couple of experienced heads to help the young lads on, but they’re gaining more experience all the time and we’ll try and add a few new faces at the end of the season.”