Linfield are ready for battle: Ervin
Linfield's Jim Ervin admits the so called crisis at Windsor Park looks to be well and truly over.
Having picked up only two points from their opening three matches, many people were suggesting David Jeffrey’s side may struggle this campaign, but two victories on the bounce has ended those suggestions.
“With Linfield there is always a lot of pressure on you and you have to take criticism whenever it comes your way, but it’s how you respond,” admitted Ervin.
“The first two weeks weren’t pretty but I think we have responded in the right manner and in the right way.”
The full-back is also making up for lost time in the goalscoring stakes, after netting his third goal in as many games at Institute on Tuesday evening.
The 24-year-old scored the crucial winner at Drumahoe, which earned the Blues their second victory in a few days.
“It hasn’t been a bad week for me, I don’t score too often, so I’m making sure I make the most of it whenever I do score,” he added.
“It was a big three points for us, we knew it was going to be battle for us and Tuesday night’s win was just as important as Saturday’s victory was. It wasn’t pretty from us but we knew it going to be a battle.
“They are a big, physical side and we knew that we had to win the battle first and then go on and win the game. Fortunately for us that is what happened and thankfully we got the three points.”
To Ervin and his team-mates’ credit, they produced a professional-like display and although the 2-1 score line suggests the match was tight, in truth the Windsor Park men were always in control of the encounter.
“I think we definitely deserved to win the match, we have a lot of experience in our team and we have learned how to deal with that pressure.
“Last season we conceded a few late goals, but hopefully we have learned from that and to be honest, I think it showed in the win over Institute that we have.
“Hopefully these two wins will mean we can build on them and look to push on and get a good run going.”
’Stute boss John Gregg was livid after the match, with referee Adrian McCourt the focus of his frustration. Gregg was sent-off by the Bangor official for a second time, ironically against Linfield.
“I’m not here to make the referee’s job any harder,” vowed the ’Stute boss. “I shouted across to the linesman 70 yards away, but I didn’t swear, which he (Adrian McCourt) stated to be fair to him. I didn’t swear, what I said to the linesman across from the dug-outs was ‘how the hell was that offside’ and because I shouted from 70 yards away, I was sent off for it.
“I was sent-off at Windsor Park last season and I appealed it and it was overturned and it was the same referee this time, so I’m not going to say too much.”