David Healy right to turn up the heat on Linfield: Aaron Burns
Aaron Burns says he understands why David Healy blasted his players after the 1-0 loss to Crusaders but he insists the squad know the score.
The Linfield midfielder admits his manager was hurt after the defeat but he's keen to stress that there is a winning mentality in the dressing room.
While the Crues celebrated going three points clear of their nearest challengers at the league summit, Healy turned the hairdryer on his men. He said: "The players need to understand what pulling on this shirt really means. I can't have people thinking we are soft centred."
The criticism from the Northern Ireland legend was strong and Burns accepts defeat was hard to take against the Crues but he's still in fighting mood.
Burns said: "David is a winner and he was angry after the poor result, he let us know his feelings and we have pride in our performances too so we know when we have to do better.
"But there's a long way to go in this league season. We still have two cup competitions to win and the league title is not over by a long shot. We are in a great position to challenge and I believe we will.
"We will work hard on the things we need to work on in training and go again. David will do what he needs to do to improve the team and we are still feeling positive about the season. You have to take the criticism and keep on battling."
Jordan Owens hit the winner but Burns came close to wiping out that lead when his late effort struck the woodwork.
"It's about fine margins and that can be a missed chance or mistake," said Burns. "We made a mistake and were punished but both sides were below par."
This is a testing period for the Blues with league games against Cliftonville, Glenavon and Portadown this month starting with the Reds at Windsor Park on Saturday.
"We beat Cliftonville in the County Antrim Shield at Windsor so hopefully we can hit back with a similar performance," added Burns. "But we are still in November and all the teams will drop points in the coming months."