O'Kane is coming to Aid Blues title push
Aiden O'Kane has earned a huge pat on the back from Linfield manager David Jeffrey after a series of impressive performances - even when he is playing out of position.
O'Kane has been filling in at left-back in the absence of both Pat McShane and Tim McCann and such has been his form that although those two are nearing a return to full fitness, their route back into the team may be blocked.
He came into the side during their extensive run without conceding a goal, appearing in five games when the Blues backline kept clean sheets and that has contributed to Jeffrey's praise of his player.
"Aidan O'Kane has been outstanding for us in recent games," said Jeffrey.
"I am pleased with the form we have shown lately and a lot of players have been getting praise.
"One player who probably doesn't get the recognition he deserves has been Aidan and that's probably because he goes about his business quietly, but effectively.
"He has played at left-back before, but is better known as a wide midfield player and that's all the more reason to give him the credit he deserves.
"This is the most consistent run he has had in the team and with performances like that he will be hard to shift."
That means that O'Kane is sure to be in the team once again when the Blues host Newry City this afternoon.
Goalkeeper Alan Mannus picked up the November Harp Football Writers Player of the Month prize for going through the month unbeaten in league play, but he too was quick to acknowledge the contribution of O'Kane to that success.
"It is always nice to get awards like this, but I would like to dedicate it to two people who don't always get the recognition they deserve - Steven Douglas and Aidan O'Kane," said Mannus.
"Aidan O'Kane isn't naturally a left-back, he is covering there because of injuries at the minute, but even if one of our left-backs was fit he would keep them out of the team."