Belfast Telegraph

David Jeffrey's words ring true as Linfield top table

David Jeffrey was true to his word when he declared at the end of August that Linfield wouldn't be at the bottom of the Irish League table for long.

After collecting just two points from their opening four matches, doubts were already being raised about Jeffrey's future at Windsor Park.

Three days later he took his team to face Warrenpoint Town, they won 2-0 and sparked a run that is still going.

Now, nine league games on from that, the Blues face Warrenpoint again, only this time they are sitting pretty at the top, four points clear of their rivals.

And Jeffrey fully intends to stay for a long time – right to the end of the season to be specific.

The turnaround, going from bottom to top, has already been nothing short of remarkable, but to take the title after such a disastrous start would be among Jeffrey's greatest achievements – especially after there were calls for the board to wield the axe and also suggestions that former Kilmarnock manager Kenny Shiels was being eyed as his replacement.

"It's the modern era that we live in. Everything is analysed so closely and people try to build things into a crisis before there actually is one," said Jeffrey.

"That makes headlines and stories, but I understand it. It is part and parcel of what we have to deal with at Linfield.

"There is a desire for instant success and when that doesn't come some people look for change.

"Some are more patient and they realise that you can't win everything every year – no team can sustain that kind of success.

"I don't laugh it off or just ignore it, but after almost 17 years I have learned to keep things in perspective and I understand the criticism more.

"People have opinions, we don't always agree with them, but we don't let them deflect our focus either.

"We simply work as hard as we can to improve all the time."

Linfield have also been boosted by the return of Robert Garrett from Canada. The midfielder has joined Daryl Fordyce and Albert Watson at Canadian side Edmonton on a loan deal and now that their season is over Garrett is hoping to pull on a Linfield jersey again.

Jeffrey said: "The practicalities of the situation are that he won't be available for selection with ourselves until the opening of the transfer window in early January.

"Having only finished a league season last Saturday, he's going to have a break for a few weeks before returning to training with ourselves in December."

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