Alan Mannus last night slammed the critics who are lining up to knock Linfield as they aim to avoid equalling the club’s worst run in a decade.
The Blues go into tonight’s live Sky Sports showdown with Cliftonville on the back of four successive defeats, a run which has seen David Jeffrey’s men’s domination on the major silverware over the last three seasons seriously questioned.
Mannus has never been one to mince his words and he reacted to the knockers when he blasted: “I’m sure they’re loving it, but let them love it, I don’t care.
“We’ve been on a great run for the last three years and other teams have had bad patches during that time. This is just our time to hit a bad patch.
“There are people out there who have been waiting for this to happen for three years.
“We have been written off before and I have never listened to any of it so I’m not going to start now.
“We have shown before that whatever is said and written about us means nothing. Even when we are getting praised I don’t really take it on board, I just get on with playing and trying to help Linfield win matches.
“Half the people who are on at us aren’t Linfield fans. They stir things up and they want David Jeffrey out because he has been so successful, but every single player is behind him.
“How could we not be after what he has achieved at the club?
“There is a responsibility on the players though to do our jobs and although we are not getting down on ourselves because of the run we are in, we are not sitting back and accepting it.”
And while Mannus’ focus could be diverted by criticism, he is even more determined that the bright lights, glitz and glamour of being on live television won’t affect his performance tonight.
He is single-minded about getting three points and that would be the same if he were playing on the local park.
“It doesn’t matter to me who we are playing, where it is or whether it isn’t on television,” he said.
“That’s for the fans and the media to think about.
“We’re out to get a win regardless of anything else and that would be the same even if we were on a winning run.
“In fact I couldn’t care less that we’re going to be live on Sky Sports. It’s all about winning.”
Jeffrey has never singled out players for public criticism in almost 12 years at the helm. Praising players is a different matter and Mannus has been named as one of the few to emerge with credit in recent games, but again, that means nothing to him.
“I haven’t been aware that I have been getting credit because we are a team and everything we do is as a team, whether we do well or not so well it’s down to everyone,” he said.
“I just try to do my job and try to keep improving.”