Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 23 October 2014

Premiership starts with a splash

Jamie Mulgrew made a splash after scoring for Linfield against Cliftonville on Saturday but his goal won't enter the record books as the match was abandoned at 1-0 after 32 minutes with the pitch waterlogged

Linfield boss David Jeffrey has set his sights on signing two strikers before the transfer window slams shut at the end of the month — even if he lands Andy Waterworth.

The former Northern Ireland under-21 hitman was at Windsor Park on Saturday to discuss a move to the champions from SPL new-comers Hamilton Accies.

But the former Lisburn Distillery ace left the transfer negotiations with Jeffrey, his assistant Bryan McLaughlin and Blues chairman Jim Kerr without agreeing a deal to move back to the Irish League after only seven months in Scotland.

The Blues are unwilling to adjust their wage structure to secure his services and Jeffrey has left the decision to the player.

But with crosstown rivals Glentoran, Derry City and an unnamed Scottish side also interested, Waterworth will take a week before deciding where his future lies.

“We had a good chat with Andrew and his agent Gerry Carlisle on Saturday evening and we’ll wait to hear back from them,” said Jeffrey.

“He is a player we are very keen to bring to the club, but the deal has to be right for everyone concerned.

“We have offered the best deal we can, but I’m sure his agent will want to get him the best deal possible, which is fair enough.

“Andrew is a player we have wanted for a long time but the search for front men continues.

“Even if we can agree the transfer of Andrew, I will still be hoping to sign one, or hopefully two forwards before the transfer window shuts.”

The Blues were hoping to dismiss talk of a crisis at the club by getting their league defence off to

a good start against Cliftonville on Saturday.

And it was going swimmingly — literally — until referee Alan Black abandoned the game after 32 minutes with the Blues a Jamie Mulgrew goal to the good.

The Antrim official would have been forgiven for not bothering to start the game such were the conditions.

As the first-half wore on, surface puddles appeared and Black led the teams off — with the backing of both Jeffrey and his Reds counterpart, Eddie Patterson.

But would the match have even started in torrential rain had last week’s opening round of fixtures gone ahead?

“Last week had nothing to do with this game. My only concern was for the safety of the players,” said Black.

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