Belfast Telegraph

Burning ambition firing up Linfield's Billy Joe

By Graham Luney

Linfield may be fighting on three fronts but Billy Joe Burns feels the Blues’ squad can cope with the intense demands.

David Jeffrey’s men have set their sights on Gibson Cup, Irish Cup and Setanta Sports Cup glory and it would be a stunning collection of silverware if they could pull it off.

The appetite for success has never been stronger at Windsor Park after the Blues’ trophyless campaign last season but nothing has been won yet.

And the squad’s strength in depth will be under the spotlight as the big games come thick and fast.

However, if there is one Carling Premiership squad who can cope with the hectic schedule, it is Linfield’s and the versatile Billy Joe Burns isn’t afraid of burn-out or injuries derailing their trophy charge.

“Our squad will be tested but when we lose a player like Peter Thompson and can replace him with a player like Mark McAllister we are looking strong,” he said.

“The manager was able to make nine changes for a Setanta Cup game and that shows how many good players he can select from.

“I have no doubt the squad is big enough to cope with the run-in and they say squads win championships. There is a long way to go and nothing has been won yet but we are feeling very positive and determined to stay on top in the title race.”

The Blues host Ballymena United tomorrow and Jeffrey will no doubt remind his troops that the Sky Blues overcame his side 2-0 at the Showgrounds in December.

But at this stage of the season, with the finishing post in sight, Jeffrey should not need to deliver any motivational talk.

The prize is a glittering one and Linfield are closing in on it.

“Thankfully we didn’t lose to Cliftonville so we have kept our four points lead,” added Burns.

“Our focus and attitude does not change — it is to collect three points from every game.

“Ballymena United always seem to play well against us and raise their game so we know it will not be an easy task.

“We just have to focus on our own game and make sure we do our jobs.

“We are playing with confidence and it is important that we keep playing well. There is a lot of work still to be done.”

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph