Alan Blayney has warned Linfield’s title rivals there will be no arrogance on display at Windsor Park as the club chases more honours.
Confidence, not cockiness is Windsor war cry as Keep ball: Linfield keeper Alan Blayney says the Blues are ready to show the Glens why they are favourites for the Gibson Cup
The first Big Two showdown of the season kicks off on Saturday at the international venue with a new-look Glens team set to make the short journey across the city.
Scott Young’s side are still hurting from the surprise 2-1 home defeat to Donegal Celtic last weekend but Linfield also slipped on that particular banana skin last season and Blayney cannot see his comrades taking their foot off the gas.
Most pundits and supporters have concluded that David Jeffrey’s champions have an ‘invincible’ look about them but the Blues vice-captain knows that a kick up the backside can be just around the corner in this game.
“Linfield have normally been slow starters but while we have got off to a decent start, I can assure you that no-one will be getting carried away here,” said Blayney.
“There is confidence in this camp but no arrogance. The moment you start thinking you are world beaters the game will embarrass you.
“Take things for granted and you will be caught off guard.
“We are 100% focused on what we have to do to win another title. We’re not interested in title talk — that’s for others to get involved in and we don’t pay attention to it.
“There is always a bit of spice to the Big Two games but Glentoran are coming here with a lot of new players and their fans will be hoping they perform well.
“It’s a tough test for their new-look team and it should be a real test of their mettle. No disrespect to the other teams they have faced so far, but this will be a big test for them.”
Eleven goals scored and only two against, Blayney has rarely broken sweat this season but the Glens will be looking to change that on Saturday.
“Of course they have quality players who know where the net is but I must say that David Arm
strong and Albert Watson have been outstanding in defence,” added the Northern Ireland international stopper.
“I’m grateful for their excellent form because I have had very little to do. As long as we are winning games and I’m keeping clean sheets, I’ll be happy.
“Our defence has been on top and very strong so far, so hopefully that will continue.”
Linfield’s squad is widely acknowledged as being the strongest in the Carling Premiership but although a few fresh faces have arrived, Blayney says there has been “no massive change.”
“The new boys like Albert (Watson), Daryl (Fordyce) and Rory (Patterson) have been doing very well and they are just getting into their stride,” added Blayney.
“We’ve a big squad but players need to know they must perform well week-in, week-out.”