Belfast Telegraph

Resilient Linfield have the quality to win the league, says fired-up Ward

By Graham Luney

Crusaders may have performed as astonishing comeback to conquer Cliftonville at the weekend but Sean Ward still believes Linfield have what it takes to win the title this season.

The Blues haven't finished top of the pile since 2012 but boss David Healy has strengthened the squad and there appears to be a new resilience in the Windsor Park ranks.

Saturday's 2-1 win at Glentoran, following an 86th minute winner from Jimmy Callacher, was another show of steel and character while Crusaders were performing their own heroics, coming from 3-0 down to stun the Reds 4-3.

Linfield are five points adrift of the champions but they boast a game in hand and Ward is feeling quietly confident his side can crack the title winning code.

"Crusaders had a big win on Saturday but so did we and I believe this Linfield team can go on and win the league title," said the former Glentoran man.

"The manager (David Healy) has put his stamp on this team and is getting us to play the way he wants. I believe we have the quality to win the league and now the right mentality as well.

"There is real strength in depth, competition for places and even going back to last season there were signs emerging that we were ready to take on and beat the top four sides. Crusaders may be champions but it's important for us to be as positive and strong as we can be.

"The challenge we faced was to narrow the gap and we have done that. Unfortunately we couldn't win anything last season despite reaching two finals but there is a real hunger and determination to win silverware this season."

Ward felt that Glentoran showed plenty of fighting spirit in the Oval scrap but he expected a rough ride.

"I've played in enough Big Two games to know they are always very tight," added the midfielder.

"The Glens showed more hunger than they have in weeks or even years."

Belfast Telegraph


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