Belfast Telegraph

Half-time rocket was key: Gault

By Gareth McCullough

Linfield captain Michael Gault cut a relieved figure after his side collected their first three points in five attempts with a 2-0 win over Warrenpoint Town at Stangmore Park on Tuesday night.

After a lacklustre first half display that saw the Premiership new boys the better of the two sides, Linfield stepped it up a gear after the break with goals from Michael Carvill and Niall Quinn securing that all important maiden win to moves the Blues off the foot of the table.

Gault admitted that they had got ‘the monkey off their backs’ and with the vultures beginning to circle around Windsor Park amid speculation surrounding David Jeffrey’s future before the game, Gault revealed that it took a verbal lashing at half-time from the manager to out things right.

“The supporters came all the way to Dungannon and we let them down in the first-half, we let the manager down and we let ourselves down,” Gault admitted.

“Obviously we don’t go out not to play well. I can’t explain it [the first-half performance] but we re-grouped and there were a few harsh words from the manager and we deserved them

“The manager’s main strength is that he keeps us motivated and he keeps us driving on.

“We would run through brick walls for him to be honest with you. The first half wasn’t good enough and we were still at the bottom of the table at that stage.

“If we hadn’t acted in the second half we would still be there. I think we answered the critics and we answered the questions Davy put to us.”

Jeffrey himself was honest enough to agree with his captain about the words spoken at the interval on Tuesday night and whatever exactly was said certainly did the trick with Gault (pictured) in particular a rock at the heart of the defence that gave Linfield the platform to do the damage at the other end.

“At half-time, I challenged Michael and Sean Ward. I said to them that people in the past have accused us of being leaderless and lacking in strength and lacking in mental character,” boomed Jeffrey.

“I’m proud to disclose that they got the mother of all rollickings.

“But they responded and they responded with courage and with bravery and with an excellent second half performance.”

As for Gault himself, while admitting he does prefer to patrol the centre of midfield, he says that he has no issues with wherever his manager chooses to play him, having rotated between centre-back and the middle of the park already so far this campaign — and as captain, it’s his leadership responsibilities that he values most.

“I’m my own harshest critic. First of all, I have to go out and play well and hope that it drives people on around me. Most people who know me know I always give 100 per cent no matter what,” Gault said.

“I might not always have the best of games but I’ll always put myself into tackles and headers. I’m not trying to do anything different and we have plenty of players who have been there and done it with the likes of Peter Thompson and Jamie Mulgrew who have won countless league titles.

“It’s down to all of us to stand up and be counted. We just have to push on now and put a run together.

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