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Win or bust for Jeffrey: Spike

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Linfield manager David Jeffrey

Linfield manager David Jeffrey

Linfield manager David Jeffrey

Glenn Ferguson has admitted that Linfield boss David Jeffrey has a fight on his hands to keep his job at Windsor Park.

The Blues lost the County Antrim Shield to Crusaders this week and they now have only two trophies to target this season — the Carling Premiership title and the Irish Cup.

Linfield failed to win silverware last season and a repeat performance this year will leave Jeffrey skating on thin ice.

Ferguson was controversially let go by the Blues boss last summer and the legendary goalscorer linked up with Lisburn Distillery.

His former club have brought Peter Thompson back to Windsor Park from Stockport County on a six-month loan deal, but there is no doubt the Linfield fans are getting impatient for success.

Jeffrey has pocketed 24 trophies in a trophy-laden 13 years at Linfield, but he is intelligent enough to know that past glories are quickly forgotten in boardrooms up and down the country.

‘Spike’, who is considering becoming a manager when he hangs up his boots at the end of this season, knows his old comrade has a storm to ride out.

“Davy (Jeffrey) is a strong character and he will fight to revive Linfield’s fortunes as you would expect him to, but we have seen in the past with managers like Roy Coyle that the powers that be can make a change,” said Ferguson.

“Once the fans start being negative and critical that can swing against a manager and there is no question the Linfield fans are very demanding.

“They only have the league and the Irish Cup to go for now and I think Davy knows that he must win at least one of them. Yes, he is under pressure, but it’s up to the players as well to dig themselves out of this hole.

“Davy has always been the first one in the dressing room to say that whatever happens in the past counts for little and you have to keep winning. When the trophies stop coming, the fans’ anger will only grow.”

Ferguson’s career may be littered with trophy success but he is now adapting to a very different challenge — trying to keep the Whites in the Carling Premiership.

The Blues can do Tommy Wright’s men a favour by sinking second from bottom Institute at Drumahoe while Dungannon Swifts and new signing Chris Morgan visit Ballyskeagh.

“It’s going to be another battle for us and hopefully Linfield can do us a favour,” added Ferguson, whose side trail Stute by six points.

“I’ve known Chris Morgan for years and know how sharp and dangerous he can be. It was unfortunate for him to make his debut against his former club and get beat 4-0!”

The Whites are in a Company Voluntary Arrangement situation since it was revealed they were in debt of around £280,000, but Ferguson insists the players are focused on their jobs on the pitch.

“We have been assured that contracts will be honoured and we are leaving the off field concerns to other people at the club,” he added. “All the locally based players are happy, but some of the boys who live in Londonderry or Strabane may find the going tougher and the manager will hold talks with them.”

Belfast Telegraph