Blast from Linfield boss Warren Feeney fired us to win, says Andy Waterworth
Linfield 3 Portadown 0
Striker Andy Waterworth admitted a half-time rant sparked him to life at Windsor Park on Saturday!
The 29-year-old hit a glorious double against battling Portadown before his strike partner Guy Bates got in on the act to help Linfield maintain their 100% winning start to the new Danske Premiership campaign.
But both players were given an ear bashing by manager Warren Feeney during the break - and it worked a treat.
"We had a game plan and I thought I had stuck to it, but there were certain things not working and that was probably down to Guy and myself," said Waterworth.
"We went in at half-time and the gaffer made sure we knew that, especially me. A few of the senior players also had their say. It was just made clear to me that the first 45 minutes was not good enough.
"I admit I wasn't happy, but I took it on the chin and made sure my second-half performance was much better. I thought we were good in the first-half, but I wasn't sharp enough.
"When a few senior players tell you 'not good enough' you have to take notice. I knew I had to raise my game so it was worth a half-time telling off. In saying that, it was all very positive.
"It obviously worked. It could not have gone much better for us. We got space in behind Portadown and the two goals were put on a plate for me. Any striker loves scoring goals and that's eight for the season. I've scored six in the first five league games.
"I have to say they were two taps ins. Matthew Clarke put the first one on a plate and Jamie (Mulgrew) did exceptionally well to lay on the second.
"The most important thing is that the team keeps winning and we have managed to win every game so far."
Waterworth believes the Blues are better equipped to go the distance in the league campaign this season.
"Saturday was our best performance of the season and we will hopefully build on it," he added.
"The boys are desperate to do well. But we'll not become carried away. It's three points... now we move on to the next game.
"Last season we were guilty of not seeing games out on occasions, but I don't think that will be the case this time.
"Portadown turned us over a few times last season and that hurt us.
"It was definitely in our minds. Getting the win was important to keep the 100% record going but there is a long, long way to go.
"We know we have to get our standards high if we want to achieve anything.
"But we won't be looking too far ahead, the next game is the most important and that is how we will approach every game."
Portadown manager Ronnie McFall insisted his team just couldn't live with the Blues in the second half.
He said: "We knew they would come at us at 100 miles an hour at the start, but once we weathered the storm, we began to pick them open.
"In fact, we were unlucky not to go in at the break one or two goals up - we had the best chances.
"We had quite a few players missing because of injury so we set up a shape to hit them on the break and it worked to a certain degree.
"But they totally battered us in the second half. You could see our heads dropping.
"They pinned us in and we just couldn't get out and to be honest we just never got started.
"I though we sat too deep over the 90 minutes... we invited them on.
"There is no point looking back on what might have been. We must now dust ourselves down and look to the next game."
Linfield: Ross Glendinning, Reece Glendinning, Haughey, Ward, Clarke, Millar, Lowry (Kee 84), Mulgrew, Burns, Waterworth (Sproule 79), Bates (Quinn 89).
Subs not used: Deane, Hegarty.
Portadown: Brennan, Casement, Oman, Breen, Redman, Mackle, Ramsey (McAllister 64, Gault, Garrett, Twigg (Stewart 89), Murray.
Subs not used: Soares, Richardson, Lyttle.
Man of the match: Jamie Mulgrew (Linfield)
Referee: A Davey (Bangor).
Match rating: 8/10