Belfast Telegraph

Healy: Linfield will do Northern Ireland proud on 'special night' for Celtic boss Rodgers

By Graham Luney

David Healy wants his Linfield players to "do the country proud" in their Champions League showdowns, as Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers said he is looking for to a speial night a windsor.

The Blues are huge underdogs in the clash of the Northern Ireland and Scottish champions but ahead of today's daunting test at Windsor Park and Wednesday's reunion at Parkhead, the Blues boss said: "We're hopefully going to do the country proud.

"We're playing for a lot of pride. These boys might never get the chance to play against Celtic again.

"I might never get the chance to manage against Celtic again, so it's all about enjoying the occasion and embracing the moment."

Healy also pleaded with the Linfield fans to make sure the historic occasion is remembered for all the right reasons.

"It might be the only chance the fans get to see Celtic so hopefully they enjoy and embrace it and do it the proper Linfield way," he added.

READ MORE: Linfield or Celtic could face Dundalk in Champions League third qualifying round

"This club has made massive strides over the years on and off the pitch to make improvements.

"We have a mixed dressing room which is great, they enjoy each other's company.

"Hopefully the fans enjoy it and I'm sure the players will go out and do us proud."

Meanwhile, Brendan Rodgers has revealed how special it will be for him to manage at Windsor Park for the first time when his ‘invincible’ Celtic side take on Linfield in the Champions League.

It’s 30 years since the Northern Ireland man was at Windsor, playing for his home country in a schoolboys game. He is relishing the opportunity to return to the stadium tonight.

“It will be extremely special. It will be nice to go back there and it may feel like I have never been away,” said the Carnlough man, who guided the Hoops to three trophies and an unbeaten domestic campaign in his first season in charge.

“I am really looking forward to taking Celtic to the National Stadium. Obviously the game is a competitive game so it narrows our focus and it is special that it will be in Belfast.

“Being Northern Irish I know what the mentality is like, you fight for your life, you give everything even if it’s against a better opponent.”

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