Jordan Stewart programme article

Posted : 7th April 2021

Linfield star Jordan Stewart was celebrating not only his 26th Birthday last week, but also a winning goal in Linfield’s hard-fought 1-0 win over Portadown at Shamrock Park. Speaking to ‘Look at Linfield’, Stewart – who is known for scoring spectacular goals – says he was delighted to net a rare scrappy goal as he took his tally to nine for the season, which is his best in a Linfield shirt since signing from Swindon in 2017.

“It’s always nice to score and against Portadown it was a bit of pinball before I thankfully was able to put it in the net at the second or third attempt. You don’t always score glamorous goals and that was an important goal. It’s up to me playing in my position to get forward and support the striker in the box. I wouldn’t normally be in the box but against Portadown I had the license to do so and thankfully that allowed me to pick up the scraps for the goal. I enjoy the scrappy goals because it’s not very often I get them. It was like an Andy Waterworth poachers goal!

“I always back myself to score goals but maybe in previous seasons I hadn’t scored as many or been as consistent. Thankfully I was able to chip in with that goal and I think I have nine for the season, so I’m pleased I’ve been able to contribute throughout the season, but it’s all about your points tally come the end of the season, so it’s not about me, even though scoring goals is nice.”

It was Linfield’s eighth fixture in the month of March, and although injuries and suspensions have been picked up along the way, the attacking midfielder says the Blues won’t be using it as an excuse for results because every team is in the same boat.

“We are into the nitty-gritty stage of the season. Everyone in the whole league is in the same boat, having to play so many games, so I don’t really want to complain, although playing eight games in March is probably unheard of for part-time players. I’m not going to cry or hide behind it. Players will get fatigued, but everybody wants to play football, and we’re very privileged that we can do that.

“It is difficult but you have to keep picking up points. I thought we were unfortunate at Ballymena, and then Portadown away was all about getting back to winning ways. We need to keep winning and grinding out results, and if you want to be up there at the end of the season you need to be going to the likes of Portadown and picking up three points. It’s a credit to the league and not just ourselves that everyone is going out and performing every week. I’m sure it’s good for the neutral to be able to watch games every few days, but it does take its toll. We’ve had injuries, suspensions, and Shayne Lavery was away on international duty but we’ve kept going.”

Looking ahead, the games continue to come thick and fast and every result is pivotal. The Blues travelled to Dungannon on Saturday evening, before taking on Coleraine tonight in a top-of-the-table clash, broadcast live on Sky Sports. ‘Sukka’ says it’s important that the squad continues to dig in to grind out results.

“We will worry about Dungannon first, and hopefully we will get three points and come through with no injuries or suspensions picked up. We will go into it with the right attitude and then focus on Coleraine. It’s a bit crazy that they’re making us play on a Wednesday night and a Saturday when the rest of the league play Tuesday and Saturday. It is what it is, and Coleraine are in the same boat as us and yes, it will be a massive game.

“Everybody is playing their part. Sometimes it’s about putting bodies on the line to grind wins out. You aren’t always going to batter teams. Maybe a few weeks ago we had some flattering results, winning games by five or seven goals and scoring goals for fun, but it’s games like Portadown away when you’re maybe having an off day, not at your best, and you grind out a 1-0 win – those are the wins that mean the most over a season.”

Well done to ‘Sukka’ on his good form and hopefully, he can maintain it throughout a big end to the season with it all to play for at the top of the Danske Bank Premiership.
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