Ballymena United 2 Larne 1
David Parkhouse, the Sky Blues’ marquee summer signing from Derry City, returned to action in Friday’s 2-1 win over Larne after being sidelined since the opening day of the campaign,
Dan Bramall was also in United’s matchday squad, with the injury situation beginning to ease for the Braidmen.
With three wins from their last five outings, Jeffrey believes it will make his side more competitive in the weeks to come.
“We had a very difficult time at the start of the season with injuries and player unavailability,” he said.
“We didn’t make any big noise about it. We went through a difficult patch and I’m on record as saying it’s as difficult as I’ve had in my managerial career.
“We didn’t give injuries as an excuse but I knew when we began to get players back, we would become more competitive.
“David Parkhouse is nowhere near match fit, but he has done tremendously well to get himself back and available for selection.
“He’s worked ever so hard and it was great to see him back on the pitch.
“The reality is it’s not about your team, it’s about your squad — the depth and the quality of your squad.
“In the last window, we weren’t able to do exactly what we wanted and that was compounded by the injury situation, but we’re starting to get people back.
“It now gives good competition for place.”
United’s win over Larne added to their impressive list of victories at the Showgrounds this term, having also won against Linfield, Cliftonville and Crusaders.
After a disappointing spell earlier in the season, however, Jeffrey is keeping a level head.
“I’m not going to say I don’t get down and disappointed but the one thing (the run earlier in the season) proved to myself was I still care passionately about the game,” he said.
“I still want to contribute and I still want to win. That hasn’t gone away.
“If I didn’t have that level of disappointment, I shouldn’t be in the game.
“By the same token, when you get a night like Friday you don’t get too carried away.
“You enjoy it for what it is — three points. The players deserve all the credit, so all the praise has to go to them.”