Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 28 December 2014

Linfield fightback has to start now: Gault

Linfield captain Michael Gault is determined to make actions speak louder than words and push the Blues back into title contention.

And the Windsor Park skipper wants the revival to start today, before the team leaves it too late to stop current Danske Bank Premiership leaders Cliftonville, or anyone else, marching off with the title at their expense.

The Blues are lying in sixth place in the table, a massive 14 points behind the rampant Reds, having lost six times already in the league.

After suffering the heartbreak of a penalty shoot-out defeat to Ballymena United in the final of the County Antrim Shield on Tuesday night, Linfield need a response when they face Lisburn Distillery today.

“The time for talking is done,” said Gault.

“We can’t keep saying the same things, get a couple of results and then suffer another setback.

“We need to get ourselves on a run and move up the table. In fact it’s vitally important that we put a good long run of results together if we are going to be serious challengers this season because very soon it’s going to be too late if we don’t.

“There isn’t a problem with belief in the dressing room, we haven’t suddenly become bad players or a bad team since the end of last season.

“Confidence may have taken a bit of a knock, but we’ve been playing well enough, we just haven’t been winning games like we have done in the past.”

Gault has been in this situation before. Four years ago the Blues were reeling after a poor start to the campaign and they also lost a Shield final to Crusaders — although that was in January.

They didn’t win any silverware in that season, but came back to claim three successive doubles to make it six in seven seasons.

“We need to step-up and fight back and I believe that we will,” said Gault.

“You look at Manchester United over the last few years, they’ve had setbacks but they’ve always come back stronger and that’s what we have to do now.”

Gault returned to the line-up last weekend after first a toe injury — carried over the last season — and then a knee problem ruled him out for the best part of six months.

And he is hungry to play a part in bringing a feel-good factor back to Windsor Park.

“I’m grumpy at the best of times, but going to watch matches, seeing the team struggle and not being able to do anything about it just made me worse,” said Gault.

“Now I can do something about it. I wouldn’t say I’m more determined than in the past though, because I am always determined.”

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