Belfast Telegraph

Setbacks have spurred Linfield on: Alan Blayney

By Graham Luney

Alan Blayney doesn’t like anything slipping through his hands — especially the Gibson Cup!

Linfield boast a healthy nine-points lead over Portadown in the title race, but you won’t hear any championship talk in the Windsor Park dressing room ahead of Donegal Celtic’s visit today.

That’s not because title talk is banned — it’s simply not in the make-up of the players who know what it takes to get across the finishing line.

Commanding leads have been thrown away in the past, but the Linfield title-winning machine are anxious to finish the job as quickly as possible.

Northern Ireland goalkeeper Blayney has already had one nasty slip-up this season — when he took a tumble on some black ice over the festive period, but he’s in no mood to fall flat on his face in the title run-in.

With a third championship medal within his grasp, the Blues number one said: “You never assume things are won in football. The minute you think you’ve done enough the game comes back to bite you.

“We are in a good position in the league, but we have had our fair share of setbacks this season. We haven’t won any trophies and we had bad results at places like Solitude.

“I think you need results like those to give you a kick up the backside. They are a reminder of what it feels like to lose. Now we don’t want to fall flat on our faces.

“Fingers crossed, we can maintain our form until the league is won, but nothing is done and dusted yet. We won’t rest until we are out of sight at the top.”

Blayney played in the pre-season friendly between the Blues and Rangers and he’s delighted to learn the cash-strapped Gers are returning to the venue in a special fundraising match.

“It’s a nice gesture from Linfield and I think we are all amazed about how the situation has unravelled at Rangers,” added the former Ballymena United stopper.

“A few months ago everything seemed rosy at Ibrox, but it should be a brilliant occasion for the fans of both clubs.”

Belfast Telegraph


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