Jeffrey expecting tough challenge against 'mightily impressive' Linfield
After an injury-ravaged opening couple of months to the season, David Jeffrey admits Ballymena United's recent momentum will face a stiff challenge when they travel to champions Linfield tomorrow for this term's first meeting of last season's top two teams.
"They were very close games between us last season. I talk about fine lines and thin margins and I think all of the games were like that last season," he said.
"I had an opportunity to watch Linfield up close a couple of weeks ago in their televised game against Crusaders and they were mightily impressive.
"Although Crusaders won, Linfield really impressed me that evening with their shape, their balance, how they kept the ball, their passing and movement.
"We have come through a period where we have had quite a number of players unavailable but we haven't moaned or gurned about injuries.
"We're working really hard and Saturday is another great opportunity to pit ourselves against a top, top side.
"We are exactly where I expected us to be and that is battling to get into and stay in the top six.
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"In my time here we've been fourth, then sixth, then second but this year is going to be the toughest of the lot because of how other teams have been able to invest in their squads.
"It's up to the players who are fit and available that they consolidate their place and make it difficult for their team-mates when they come to be fit and ready and hopefully then we can increase the competition levels in the squad."