Belfast Telegraph

New deal for Northern Ireland hero Healy as Linfield eye the treble

 

By Steven Beacom

Linfield manager David Healy is set to be rewarded with a new contract by the club's board with the Blues intent on building on his achievements this season.

The hierarchy at Windsor Park have been extremely impressed by Healy's management which has taken the club to the brink of an unexpected treble.

Already this term Healy has guided the Blues to County Antrim Shield success - the club's first trophy since 2014 when David Jeffrey was in charge - and on Saturday can guarantee a first league title for Linfield in five years if his team defeat Cliftonville at Solitude.

The following weekend, Northern Ireland's greatest ever goalscorer will lead his side out at Windsor for the Irish Cup final against Coleraine.

While 37-year-old Healy (below) will be the first to say only one trophy is in the bag, he and his players have given their fans much to cheer over the last four months, going on a stunning 18-match unbeaten run and winning their last 10 matches.

Counted out as no-hopers for the league title by many as recently as last month when champions Crusaders moved nine points clear at the top, Healy has been an inspirational figure in the dressing room and his players have responded brilliantly to be two points clear of Stephen Baxter's men with a superior goal difference heading towards the final weekend of the Danske Bank Premiership campaign.

When the former Manchester United and Rangers star took over from Warren Feeney in October 2015, after his old international team-mate became Newport County’s assistant manager, Healy was handed a two and a half year contract.

He still has 12 months of his current deal to run, but it is clear that the Blues board are keen to tie the Killyleagh man down longer term.

Linfield chairman Roy McGivern (above) said: “David has a year left but I have no doubt no matter what happens on Saturday and in the Irish Cup final we will be speaking to him about another contract.

“I think David is very settled here and he wants success at Linfield and I hope this is just the start of it. We will certainly be talking to him. With the success he has had already, turning the team around and hauling back the nine-point lead that Crusaders had in the league, that will be rewarded.”

Six months ago, Healy, a lifelong Linfield fan,  told the Belfast Telegraph of his long-term ambitions for the club, stating: “I want to have many more years here. Becoming manager was a huge honour for me and has given me a deeper understanding and affection for the club. I am so determined to bring success and trophies to Windsor and our fans.”

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