Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 30 August 2014

Linfield striker Peter Thompson not firing on all cylinders

Linfield 1 Coleraine 0: Peter Thompson has laughed off suggestions he is suffering a goal crisis.

The Linfield striker is yet to find the net for the champions this season as the Blues struggle to find top gear.

Thompson made his name as the most prolific hitman in the country before his move to Stockport County two years ago but since his return to Windsor Park, the goals haven’t flowed as much as he would have hoped.

There’s no doubting his arrival last Christmas sparked David Jeffrey’s men into life en route to their fourth double in five years and he insists as long as the team is winning, he is happy.

A combination of near misses and a superb second-half save by Davy O’Hare ensured Thompson is still searching for that elusive first goal of the season after Linfield’s 1-0 win over Coleraine on Friday night, thanks to Paul Munster’s strike.

“Every striker wants to score goals because that is what we are judged on,” said Pistol Pete.

“People looking in probably think I’m not doing my job but I have grown a thick skin as I’ve got older.

“I would have worried more a few years ago but I know a goal will come sooner or later and hopefully that will be the start of a run for me.

“The important things is that I keep getting myself into positions and making decent runs. In the past few weeks I have missed a few chances and, to be fair, keepers have made some great saves.

“It’s been four league games and the two European games so far but that is by no means the longest run of my career without a goal.

“All strikers go through droughts but I’m not worried in the slightest.

“Throughout my career I have never really be prolific in August and it’s something I’ve never been able to put my finger on.

“As long as Linfield are winning and I am contributing by setting goals up even, I am happy.”

The general consensus is that Thompson is a much better all-round player after his 18-month sojourn in League One.

He added: “When I went to Stockport I knew my game had to change. I improved my heading and I’m stronger now.

“Before my move, a lot of people would have said all I did was score goals. Since coming back, I hope they would have changed that opinion though.

“I would like to think I am a better player and am able to do more for the players around me now. If I didn’t learn a thing in the 18 months I was at Stockport, training and playing football every day, there would be something badly wrong.”

With the Blues quietly going about their business after a stuttering start to the defence of their title which reaped just one points from their first two games, Thompson is confident there is much more to come.”

“No-one can put their finger on why but we are slow starters. We’ve shown in recent years, however, that we can do the business when it matters,” he added.

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