Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 26 July 2014

David Jeffrey's exit will inspire Linfield: Curtis Allen

Paying tribute: Curtis Allen has only praise for David Jeffrey

Glentoran striker Curtis Allen believes the news of David Jeffrey's end of season departure will galvanise the Linfield dressing room.

Out of sorts Glentoran will take on the Blues tonight, in what will be Jeffrey's last game at The Oval as Linfield manager.

Allen spent two years at Windsor Park under the guidance of Jeffrey, helping them towards two league titles. Glentoran's recent recruit believes his former team-mates will want to put in a big performance for their manager.

"I don't think the announcement will hurt Linfield in anyway, if anything I think it will make them even more determined to win for their manager.

"I've been there and I've worked with Davy, so I know the players will want to win the league for him, so he can go out on a high. They will want to perform well for him."

Allen arrived at Windsor Park in the summer of 2009 after a successful spell with Lisburn Distillery, but despite scoring a number of important goals for the Blues he was seldom a regular starter.

Despite not hitting the heights at Linfield, Allen still holds his former manager in high regard and hopes he stays in the game.

"I did enjoy working with David Jeffrey, but it's no secret that my time at Windsor Park was up and down. I won two league medals with Linfield and I enjoyed my time there.

"He's been at Linfield for 17 years now and you just can't look past the trophies he has won. David is a great manager and I hope he stays in and around the game. He's a great guy, so I wish him all the best."

Although Allen has scored four goals since arriving at The Oval from Inverness Caledonian Thistle in January, the Glens have struggled for form in the league.

On Saturday evening Allen's late goal wasn't enough to stop them from slipping to a 2-1 defeat to basement side Ards.

The defeat in Bangor compounded matters, after recent disappointing results against Armagh City and Warrenpoint Town.

Manager Eddie Patterson has missed Glentoran's last two games, through illness, although he is expected to be at tonight's derby.

Winger Jordan Stewart is likely to return to the team after being rested for the Ards clash, but the Glens will be without full-backs Marcus Kane and William Garrett, who were both sent off in Saturday's league defeat.

With all that in mind, the Glens will be underdogs for tonight's televised Big Two clash, but the former Coleraine forward thinks this might be exactly the sort of challenge they need.

Allen said: "Glentoran against Linfield is a big match regardless of the circumstances. Anything can happen, so I see no reason why we can't get three points."

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