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Stewart happy to forego individual praise for team glory as Linfield open up 12-point lead at top

 

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Two good: Jordan Stewart wheels away after netting his second

Two good: Jordan Stewart wheels away after netting his second

Two good: Jordan Stewart wheels away after netting his second

Jordan Stewart has insisted team success matters more to him than personal accolades after earning the man of the match in Linfield's win over Coleraine.

The red-hot striker nabbed both of the league leaders' goals at Windsor Park on Wednesday night in a 2-1 win that extends their lead at the top of the Danske Bank Premiership to 12 points.

The 26-year-old is certainly a man in form having scored four goals in Linfield's last three games and has now hit 12 on the season, trailing only Shayne Lavery and Andy Waterworth in the team's scoring charts.

However, despite his impressive displays, the latest of which earned him the man of the match award against Coleraine, Stewart claims he would trade all of that in for team success instead.

"It's always nice scoring good goals but it's more important coming away with the win. It would have meant very little if we didn't come away with the win, so I'm delighted," said Stewart.

"Thankfully it's been falling for me in the last few weeks and maybe I'm getting a little bit of luck. You just have to keep working hard for the team and you take these moments when they come along.

"They don't come along every week throughout the course of a season, but I'm on a good run of scoring at the minute and, more importantly, the team is winning."

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The defending champions are now 12 points clear at the top of the table and it looks like it will take a considerable decline in form for them to be overhauled by the chasing pack.

Coleraine are their closest challengers and have a game in hand, while bitter rivals Glentoran are a further two points behind with two games in hand.

However, David Healy's men have showed no signs of slowing down in their relentless pursuit of reclaiming their title, and Wednesday's victory over the Bannsiders was further proof of that.

Stewart's double had them two goals to the good at the break and, even though they had Niall Quinn sent off for a second yellow just after the hour, Curtis Allen's late finish was only consolation for the visitors.

"Coming into the game it was first v second. We knew the result went for us (on Tuesday, Glentoran drawing away to Ballymena) and it was up to us to capitalise. It was a massive game and we're delighted we got the three points," said Stewart.

"We dug deep. I think we have been doing so for the last few weeks now. It's unfortunate when Quinny gets two yellows, maybe slightly soft the first yellow, but, as you say, we dug deep and came away with three massive points.

"I think overall Coleraine piled the pressure on and kept coming forward, but we were quite comfortable defending. Thankfully we got over the line.

"I thought our defence was brilliant even though we conceded a goal, but with that amount of pressure we were always likely to concede and with 10 men we just couldn't get out of our own half.

"The whole team from one to 11 were brilliant. Obviously when you get a couple of goals it can lead to man of the match, but it's more about the team."


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