Blues are 'moving on up'

THINGS are suddenly looking much brighter for Linfield.

A win at Glenavon on Tuesday saw the Blues climb to second in the Carling Premier League, as rivals Glentoran, Crusaders, Clftonville and Lisburn Distillery each failed to pick up wins.

The champions now lie in second, five points behind leaders Glentoran, with a game in hand and a 'Big Two' showdown with the Glens on the cards at the Oval in Monday night's Sky Live match (Sky Sports 1 from 7.30pm).

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Manager David Jeffrey said this week that he is not getting too caught up in early season mathematics, but stressed that his message to his players ahead of their match at the Oval is that the Blues "need three points."

Jeffrey said: "I think there was maybe a lot more said about our start to the season than there should have been.

"I am pleased, obviously, by the result away to Glenavon. I still don't think we're firing on all cylinders, but that was probably our best performance of the season since our European matches. It always takes a bit of time, but the players' attitude has been fantastic."

Jeffrey added: "Monday night is a great opportunity for us to close the gap and that's the message to the players. We've got it back to five points, defeat would leave it at eight again and all the hard work at Glenavon would be out the window. We have got to focus on making sure that doesn't happen."

A win would leave the Blues just two points behind the Glens with a game in hand, whereas defeat will leave them eight points behind, and Jeffrey admitted, "It can go either way."

He continued: "At this moment in time I don't want to get too caught up in mathematics. The reality is we need three points and that's the message to the players."

Jeffrey was also keen to praise midfield star Michael Gault for his recent performances saying, "The season's up and running and I've been particularly pleased with the performances from him. I hope Michael's return to form remains for quite a while."