David Jeffrey says anyone writing off Linfield "knows nothing about football".
Jeffrey's Ballymena United take on a rejuvenated Blues side this evening after their County Antrim Shield semi-final win over Glentoran in midweek.
That made it five games unbeaten for David Healy's men after what has been a stuttering start to their league title defence.
They find themselves nine points off league leaders Larne but Jeffrey insists they should not be ruled out of the title running.
"Anyone that writes Linfield off knows nothing about the game of football," said the Sky Blues boss.
"They will see us as a big opportunity to collect three points.
"The last time they came up to Ballymena they won quite comfortably.
"David has done tremendously well at Linfield.
"I don't think people fully appreciate what he's achieved, maybe you've got to have been a manager at Linfield to understand what he's done.
"If we are to do anything then we have to be right at it from the word go.
"The only way we will compete is if we show something similar to Monday night against Crusaders."
Ballymena have been buoyed by their performance and victory at Seaview, but Jeffrey wants more consistency from his players after a frustrating run of results.
"When we played Newry at home our stats were through the roof," he said.
"We go to Newry a few days later but we don't repeat that level of performance, but I think we showed enough to come away with the draw.
"I said to the players before the Crusaders game that if we are to compete we can't afford to not be working at that level. It's a consistency issue.
"Hopefully over the piece we can continue to learn and people will realise what they have to do on a regular and consistent basis.
"I thought we were in the ascendancy in the first half against Crusaders and could have come in two goals to the good, we didn't.
'The second half was about us making sure we didn't make mistakes or become complacent.
"We showed real resolve and resilience to see the game out.
"It was no coincidence that Douglas Wilson and Evan Tweed were back in again."
Larne are also in action this evening as they entertain Dungannon Swifts.
The Invermen opened up a three point lead at the top of the Danske Bank Premiership last weekend, but boss Tiernan Lynch insists his side will not be looking too far ahead.
"There's always going to be all kinds of noise from outside sources but it won't get in the way of what we want to do or where we want to go," he said.
"I pay no attention to it. I don't do social media and I don't buy papers.
"I'm very fortunate my players are honest and work so hard every single day."
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