Belfast Telegraph

Champions League: Overjoyed Jeffrey hails his Linfield stars

By Graham Luney

David Jeffrey last night declared Linfield’s performance against Norwegian League pacesetters Rosenborg was his “proudest moment” in Europe.

The Blues carved out an heroic display in the 1-1 draw at Dinamo Zagreb in 2008 but, in this Champions League qualifier, he watched his troops “produce a performance I didn’t think was possible”.

Jeffrey had good reason to be beaming with pride after their slick full-time opponents failed to penetrate a very disciplined Linfield side.

He said: “I’m ecstatic, really pleased. I couldn’t overstate the size of the task.

“The players raised their game to a level I didn’t think they could. We’ve had some great results and performances but that was better than Dinamo Zagreb.

“Yes, we scored over there and we had a lot of defending to do but they were already through and maybe their attitude wasn’t right.

“Rosenborg’s budget is based on Champions League football, that’s what we are up against.

“My players deserve every ounce of credit, that performance was immense. Alan Blayney made a great save and Noel Bailie cleared one off the line but to say it was backs against the wall would be wrong.

“The message was do not go out with an inferiority complex. Their players could be technically better but the difference is not huge.

“We worked hard on getting the right formation so the players would be comfortable and be strong defensively and still be able to get forward.

“You can talk about tactics until you are blue in the face but your players have to be willing to learn and listen and carry out the instruction. They deserve immense credit, I’m so proud of them.”

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