Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 23 December 2014

Linfield will hit back by sticking together: Thompson

Peter Thompson has rubbished suggestions that the Linfield squad have lost their hunger for success.

And the Windsor Park hitman has responded to his team’s critics by declaring that those knocking the Blues as they sit sixth in the Danske Bank Premiership table have got what they wanted.

Six doubles in seven years haven’t taken the edge of Thompson’s drive for more medals and he is determined to fire the goals that will put the Blues back on track for a title challenge, as the campaign hits the halfway stage.

“I can understand people saying that maybe we’ve lost our hunger or that we’ve become complacent because they are looking for a reason as to why we aren’t at the top of the table, but I honestly don’t think that is the real reason,” said Thompson.

“Why would it happen now, after six doubles in seven years? Why not after the first or second one?

“There are no excuses coming from us.

“We simply haven’t been good enough this season and while we’ve had the odd good win here and there that we thought might kick us on we just haven’t followed enough of them up.

“We know we haven’t been consistently winning games, but the only way to get through it is by sticking together and when we get a win making sure we go on and win the next game and get our form back.”

The Blues have lost six times already this season, just one less than they suffered in the whole of the previous campaign.

Normally the very model of consistency, David Jeffrey’s side have won back-to-back league games just twice.

The critics fire jibes at the Blues about their contract with the Irish FA for hosting Northern Ireland matches, with the 15% of profits from those games boosting the Windsor Park coffers.

There are regular claims that there isn’t a level playing field, but this season things have turned around and even today’s opponents, newly promoted Ballinamallard United — who were widely tipped for immediate relegation — are above Linfield.

“This is what everyone has been wanting for I don’t know how many years.

“People have been saying for years that they wanted a more competitive league and that it would be good if Linfield weren’t as successful, so now they’ve got what they’ve wished for.

“We don’t want it to be like that, we want to be winning week in, week out and it’s not a habit that we’re getting used to or enjoying.

“Nobody is thinking ‘well we’ve done well in the past so we can afford to have a bad season’.”

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