Spike backs Linfield's new boys
Published 17/02/2009 | 00:00
Glenn Ferguson has spoken of his relief and delight at having the pressure to find the net lifted off his shoulders by Linfield new boys Kevin McHugh and Mark McAllister.
Ferguson, by his own admission, has played more games this season than he would have liked and spent the first half of the campaign as the Blues’ only real goal threat as the champions struggled a little to deal with the loss of Peter Thompson, Mark Dickson and Thomas Stewart.
Those problems are long gone now though as suddenly Blues boss David Jeffrey has an embarrassment of riches up front with both McHugh and McAllister finding their feet quickly at Windsor Park.
And Ferguson feels that will bring out the best in him too.
“I spoke to Davy (Jeffrey) in the summer after Peter (Thompson), Dickson and Thomas Stewart left and told him he had to bring a few players in because I didn’t think I could be expected to be the main person to get the goals,” he said.
“As it turned out I ended up playing as much as anyone in the first half of the season because we had very few options up front.
“We had a few injuries but we have come through all that and have strengthened the squad too so things are looking good now and we are coming into a good run of form.
“We have signed good quality players and the new boys have settled in well.”
Ferguson added: “They are a good foil for me and it takes the pressure off.
“Defenders have a couple of extra players to worry about and that leaves gaps.
“It’s been great for me because it is a big burden being the one relied upon to score the goals.
“Now we have more of a threat going forward.”
Ferguson has also given his verdict on the two new front men, declaring McHugh (above) as a class act and McAllister a work in progress.
“They are two very different players,” added ‘Spike.’
“McHugh has a class about him; he’s sharp, has quick feet and can get behind defences.
“He also brings a lot of experience.
“Mark is still very young. He obviously has a lot going for him; he’s strong and knows where the net is but he’s still got a lot to learn and is definitely one for the future.
“He’ll still manage to play a big part in things this season though.”
Linfield’s next challenge comes tonight at Windspr Park when they host third placed Crusaders in a crunch JJB Sports Premiership clash.
The Crues have been out of luck this season when taking on the Blues, having lost by the narrowest of margins on each occasion.
And Ferguson is wary of the threat Stephen Baxter’s side hold.
“I haven’t been surprised by how well they have done this season because they made some very good signings in the summer,” he said. “They have given us a battle all season but haven’t won so they will be out to change that.”