Irish League: Striker Andy Waterworth confident Linfield can continue riding high in Premiership

Linfield's Andy Waterworth
Linfield's Andy Waterworth

Hot shot Andy Waterworth believes Linfield have the mental strength to keep them at the top of the Danske Premiership table.

The Blues make the long trek to Ballinamallard United on Saturday, determined to maintain their 100 per cent winning start to the league campaign.

It’s been a long time since the Blues have made such an impressive start. Their demolition of Portadown last weekend was a clear statement of intent by Warren Feeney’s team.

“The boys are determined to do well... we have a winning mentality,” purred Waterworth, who has bagged nine goals this term. “I thought we were excellent. Every single player showed composure and maturity. Even when we went two and three goals ahead, we kept going for the jugular.

“Portadown are a good side, but we made them look ordinary enough. They turned us over a few times last season. That was on the back of our minds . . . we were still hurting.

“So it was good to get over that hurdle and collect the three points with a very polished performance. But we’ll not become carried away. It an old and well used cliche, but we’ll take one game at a time.

“We got the cup game out of the way in midweek (an easy win against Glebe Rangers), so we are now focused on what will be a difficult trip to Ballinamallard.”

The striker continued: “The gaffer will do his usual homework on them and we’ll prepare well. As to boss told us, there is no point getting all the headlines with a great win over Portadown one week and then being chinned by Ballinamallard the next.

“We’ve learned a lot from last season. We led the table at times but failed to finish teams off when we were on top. We were not getting over the line when it mattered. Then we were being punished.

“We were coming off the pitch after playing well with no result. That’s what killed us. This season, we are playing well and we are getting the results. We know teams raise they game when they play Linfield... I was in that position myself at one time.

“So we know we have to be on top of our game, regardless of the opposition.”

Blues chief Feeney, who changed all 11 players for the midweek League Cup win against Glebe Rangers, insists there can be no room for complacency. He adds: “It’s going to be a tough game down there.

“We want to keep the unbeaten run going. Portadown struggled down there, so we know how hard it will be. We’ll go there fully respectful of them.

“But we’ve built up a bit of momentum . . . there is a good togetherness in the squad. We’ll focus on what we need to do to get the points.”

United boss Whitey Anderson will have midfielder Liam McKenna available following his dismissal at Coleraine last Saturday.

The Mallards were undone by a last minute winner from rookie striker Jamie McGonigle, who earned the Bannsiders a 2-1 win.

Anderson, delighted with his team’s thumping 5-0 League Cup win against Banbridge Town in midweek, insisted McKenna’s dismissal cost his team the points at Coleraine.

“I thought we were great in the first half. We were comfortable and we created a few good opportunities.

“The sending off changed the entire concept of the game it was a simple as that.

“We now face another massive challenge against a Linfield team that have that title look even at this early stage of the season.”