Belfast Telegraph

Linfield taking it one game at a time: Jeffrey

By Gareth Cauldwell

Ballinamallard 1 Linfield 2: Linfield manager David Jeffrey watched his side secure a fourth league win on the trot on Saturday away to Ballinamallard United but he stresses his side is still very much a work in progress.

The Blues had enjoyed the majority of possession in the first half at Ferney Park but Whitey Anderson's side put up stubborn resistance as the game remained goalless at the interval.

However, Linfield were more dangerous after the break and, after Mallards goalkeeper Alvin Rouse had made two good saves to deny Andy Waterworth and Jamie Mulgrew, the Blues finally took the lead in the 68th minute.

Superb footwork by the excellent Waterworth saw him set up Mulgrew for the opener and then Waterworth swooped for the second 10 minutes later.

Ballinamallard did pull a goal back through Andy Crawford late on but it was to be Linfield's day as they returned to Belfast with the points in the bag.

"It's a game at a time," was Jeffrey's response to being asked about his side's good run following a slow start to the league that saw them draw two and lose two of their opening four games.

"We're pleased with what we've done and, in all honesty, in respect of performance level, I have only been disappointed with one game and that was the game against Crusaders and they have responded well since then."

And the Linfield boss says the players are aware that there is plenty more work to be done.

"This is a brand new group of players and they know that there is a long way to go and a lot of hard work to do. They are very much a work in progress but for how they are applying themselves the players deserve a great deal of credit and I'm very proud of them and pleased with their performance today," he added.

Having brought in a number of new faces during the summer, Jeffrey is pleased with how they are gelling and feels they will be even stronger when they get their injured players back on the pitch.

"There is understanding coming and if we can just get our injured players back then that will help with competition. We have healthy competition now up front, we just need to now get a couple of defenders back and up the anti with respect to competition," he said.

Ballinamallard have regrouped and recovered well since the thumping in Portadown a fortnight ago and manager Whitey Anderson was disappointed not to have taken something out of Saturday's game.

"I don't think either team had many chances in the first half. We set our stall out to get our shape right and we worked extremely hard on that.

"I thought we played very well in the second half and we defended magnificently and our goalkeeper was tremendous. It was disappointing we didn't get something out of it as I thought overall we deserved something," said Anderson.

And he believes there were many more positives to take out of Saturday's performance.

"The last two weeks the players have worked really hard and showed a lot of character and I thought today there was a lot more to look forward to than not look forward to," he said.

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