Paul Munster today predicted that Linfield will go from strength to strength after his goal sparked the club’s revival last night.
The Blues were under pressure going into the live Sky Sports clash with Cliftonville at Solitude, but the weight was lifted off their shoulders just four minutes in when Munster struck the opening goal in the JJB Sports Premiership clash.
After that Linfield looked a different team to the one that was lacking confidence during a four game losing streak - their worst run in a decade - and they went on to steamroller the Reds 4-0, ruining their big night as they returned to their home ground for the opening of a new stand.
William Murphy and Michael Carvill were also on the score sheet, before Munster in magical form wrapped up a dream first-half for the Blues with his second just before half-time and David Jeffrey’s men went on to coast to victory in the second-half - one that was achieved emphatically.
After all the crisis talk, Linfield can now go above Glentoran at the TOP of the league table with a win over Newry on Saturday. And if they play as they did at Solitude, Gerry Flynn’s border outfit will be in for a rough ride.
Suddenly the Blues are looking like champions again.
“Our confidence was sky high after the first goal and everything just went on from there,” said former Cliftonville ace Munster.
“ We grew in confidence even more with every goal that went in and it was a great night for me and the team.
“Linfield aren’t used to losing games, let alone four in a row, so it is good to have brought that to an end in such a big game. And now everyone feels we can go from strength to strength. This win was just what we need.”
And those two goals were exactly what Munster wanted. He is now hoping for a consistent run in the side.
“The two goals meant a lot to me, particularly at Solitude where I played as a youth team player and I still know a lot of the lads,” said Munster.
“I was out of the team for a few games and all round the confidence was low when we went through the losing streak.
“Hopefully now I can get a run of games, score some goals and help get us back to where we want to be.”
Blues boss David Jeffrey refused to go overboard, despite one of the biggest victories his team has recorded in the last few years, but he was happy that his players had proved a point and silenced the doubters.
“The players have been stung by criticism from some quarters. Some people were waiting with anticipation for us to have a difficult period and they have really enjoyed it,” he said.
“They have taken quite a bit of criticism, particularly some of the senior players and I thought Noel Bailie, William Murphy and Glenn Ferguson were absolutely magnificent. .
“We knew it was going to be a big night for Cliftonville, with their new stand and they filled it. It was a pressure occasion and there was pressure on our players but we delivered.”