Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 28 May 2016

Glentoran v Linfield: David Jeffrey's Oval farewell should be special

Telegraph Sport: where the debate starts

With Steven Beacom

Published 21/02/2014

David Jeffrey has announced he is standing down as boss of Linfield. Pic Brian Little
David Jeffrey has announced he is standing down as boss of Linfield. Pic Brian Little

The atmosphere at Big Two games between Glentoran and Linfield in recent years has not been what it used to be.

Some of that is down to Health and Safety rules limiting the capacity at the derby fixture.

Glentoran's financial woes have not helped either because they are no longer in a position to challenge Linfield and others for the Irish League title, therefore while matches between the sides are still important, they just haven't been as important as in years gone by.

There is something special, however, about tonight's Glens v Blues Danske Bank Premiership meeting at the Oval and not just because it is live on Sky Sports or that a Linfield victory would see them leapfrog Cliftonville and return to the top of the table.

What sets this fixture apart is that it should be the last time David Jeffrey takes charge of a Linfield side at the famous east Belfast ground.

The Blues boss always receives a hostile reception at the Oval. With DJ leaving Windsor Park at the end of the season, the songs directed at him from the Glentoran faithful will be bellowed with more gusto than ever.

There is no way anyone connected with the Glens will want Davy and the Blues to win in their quest for another league title, so expect the home players to put in a mighty effort tonight.

Linfield will also rise to the challenge. During his incredible career Jeffrey has experienced some lows at the Oval, but he's enjoyed highs there too. I'm thinking the big man might just savour one more.

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