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Andy Waterworth must stay on goal trail for Linfield

It's one thing having your manager put your under pressure to deliver week in, week out. When the boss is also putting pressure on you for your place in the team it could have even more of an impact.

Andy Waterworth, however, wouldn't have it any other way at Linfield.

The striker admits that he was 'devestated' when David Jeffrey, the manager who had signed him less than a year earlier, announced that he was leaving the club.

Fast forward nine months and Waterworth is loving life under Warren Feeney.

And it isn't just the manager's influence on the training ground - as well as that of his assistant Andy Todd - that has the 28-year-old bubbling with confidence, having the former Northern Ireland international as his strike partner is a major bonus.

Feeney named himself in the team that won 3-0 at Dungannon Swifts last Saturday and he is likely to be in the line up to face Portadown at Windsor Park tonight - which is fine by Waterworth.

"David Jeffrey brought me to Linfield, he was brilliant for me and I was devestated to see him go," said Waterworth.

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"Whoever took over was going to have a big job on their hands. Warren Feeney has come in and I'm loving it.

"I love being at Linfield and everything that comes with playing for the club - particularly the expectation that there is to win every game and to win trophies."

Waterworth's 21 goals in 33 appearances so far this term have played a big part in them keeping the pressure on Crusaders at the top of the Danske Bank Premiership.

Victory against Portadown tonight would move them level on points with the Crues, who face a trip to Glenavon tomorrow afternoon.

The goals won't mean a lot to Waterworth though if they don't help bring about the Gibson Cup.

"I am enjoying my football this season and I have been scoring goals, but I would swap them all for another league medal. I was part of the squad that won it at Glentoran, but I wasn't a regular in the team.

"To win it now, playing every week and knowing how hard it is to win it, would mean more to me."

With someone who has the experience of 46 international caps and over a decade of full time football behind him looking for a place in the team, Waterworth knows hew has to keep scoring.

"Everyone who knows the manager knows what an enthusiastic person he is," said Waterworth. "His style of play suits me. He holds the ball up well, goes short and allows me to push forward, which is the same for the other strikers in the squad - Sammy Morrow, Michael Carvill and Peter Thompson.

"The problem comes if he makes a mistake - how do you pull the manager up for that?

"If he is going to keep playing then there is only one other place up front and I want to keep myself in, so I have to keep scoring goals."

The good news for Linfield fans, however, is that their main striker is getting better - thanks to not just one, but three men who know all about finding the net.

"I learn a lot playing with the manager and from his coaching," said Waterworth.

"His sessions are excellent and one week he had Harry Kewell and David Healy at training.

"I was looking round and thinking I can't fail to learn from these guys."

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