If pressure was something that concerned David Jeffrey then he’d have he’d have left Linfield a long time ago.
Usually it only takes one defeat for the ‘Jeffrey out’ calls to start resounding around Windsor Park.
The fans hate to lose, but not as much as their manager.
He hasn’t lasted almost 16 years in the job — longer than any of his predecessors — by cracking under pressure. If anything how he has reacted to adversity has defined Jeffrey’s managerial career.
In April 2005 the Blues were on the verge of winning the league before an injury-time goal from Chris Morgan, a player he has released the previous summer, gave the title to Glentoran.
A month later Linfield were all-Ireland champions, the following season they won all four domestic trophies and didn’t lose a meaningful game.
That was also the first of three doubles in a row.
After feeling that he was on the brink of losing his job in early 2009 and missing out on a fourth successive league crown by a single point to the Glens, Jeffrey rallied and has won another three doubles on the bounce since.
Winning just once in the opening five league games and sitting ninth in the early Danske Bank Premiership table isn’t something that Jeffrey will be enjoying. Let’s face it, second place isn’t good enough at Linfield.
With every dropped point, however, comes a rise in the determination to have the last laugh at the critics.
Jeffrey will demand an immediate response to Tuesday night’s 2-1 defeat to Crusaders when the Blues visit Portadown today. They will, however, have to do it without striker Peter Thompson.
The initial signs are that the the hamstring injury which brought about his first-half substitution will rule him out until Christmas.
“We just need to knuckle down and battle through this period and I'm sure that the results will come,” said Jeffrey.
It’s no surprise that he talks so confidently about getting results.
He’s been through all this before, on more than one occasion too.
Linfield are notoriously slow starters.
For example they’ve only managed to win their opening league games three times in the last 11 years — and they’ve ended up champions at the end of seven of them.
“I don’t know what it is with us and slow starts, but I would put it down to a period of readjustment after playing in Europe,” said Jeffrey.
“We know that when we qualify for Europe it gets earlier and earlier as the years go by.
“That brings increased demands on the players, to which they respond phenomenally well.
“We prepare and play in a different way in Europe and it is a totally different environment when we come back to our own domestic league.
“In one we’re massive underdogs, then when we come back here the situation at Linfield is such that we’re expected to win every week and when that doesn’t happen there is a reaction.
“With the majority of our pre-season preparation geared towards playing in Europe then there is naturally a transition to make.
“We have to remember that players are human beings.
“We can’t flick a switch and we’re no different to any other team around the world in that we’re going through a run where our results aren’t what we have hoped for.”