Linfield manager David Jeffrey is hoping to continue his love affair with the Co Antrim Shield tonight.
After not winning any silverware last season, the Blues are determined to get back on the trophy trail by beating Crusaders in the first major final of the current campaign (kick-off 7.35pm).
They enter the decider at the Oval as favourites, even though Jeffrey believes it is too close to
call against a Crusaders side, who while suffering a poor run of recent form, have the capabilities to turn up the heat on the big occasion, just as they did when winning the Irish Cup in May.
The first trophy Jeffrey won was the Co Antrim Shield and he fancies claiming it once again.
“It is fantastic for everyone at the club to be involved in the first final of the season,” said Jeffrey.
“It’s going to be tough because Crusaders are a very good side, but we’re ready for the challenge.
“And on a personal note the Co Antrim Shield means a great deal to me because it was the first trophy that I won in 1983 when we beat Glentoran in the final. Winning tonight would be great for the club as it would give everyone a lift for the weeks and months ahead.”
That being the case maybe Crusaders need the victory this evening more than the table topping Blues.
Considered genuine title contenders a few weeks ago, the Crues are in a slump at present, illustrated by Saturday’s home defeat to Institute.
Crues boss Stephen Baxter said: “I expect it to be a tight match and a good one to watch. We’ll be giving it our all and hopefully we’ll finish up with the trophy.”