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No regrets over Cliftonville appeal, say Linfield

Linfield chairman Jim Kerr insists he has no regrets at backing Cliftonville's appeal to have goalkeeper Paul Murphy eligible for Tuesday's Irish Cup semi-final replay.

Cliftonville won their appeal to allow Murphy to play in the 3-2 victory, with Linfield also fighting their corner.

However despite finding themselves out of the competition Blues chief Kerr admits he would do the same again.

"What happened wasn't our really our concern, it was between Cliftonville and the IFA and we were happy to abide by the IFA's decision," Kerr said.

"At the end of the day sport has to come first above everything else and we have no regrets over backing Cliftonville, none whatsoever.

"We're obviously bitterly disappointed at losing the game, but you can't say he (Paul Murphy) contributed to our defeat.

"At the end of the day you can't win every single match you play in, our focus will turn to the league and we know the players will fight all the way for it until it's mathematically over."

Meanwhile manager David Jeffrey admits he didn't hold back on his players after seeing them surrender their place in the Irish Cup final in Tuesday night's replay.

He was left to rue what might have been after being undone by two late set pieces, with players straying from their assigned duties.

"There were certainly some harsh words afterwards. The reality is if you play for Linfield there are expectations," Jeffrey declared.

"If you play for Linfield there is accountability. I am also part and parcel of that accountability.

"When you ask people to do a particular job and they don't do a particular job, we get punished for it in the manner in which we did. It's so disappointing.

"What is so frustrating is that we had an opportunity when we had a great chance for the ball to be squared to either Glenn or Robert Garrett and that could have put us 3-1 up and who knows, that could have been the game dead and buried.

"Having said that, we should have been able to deal with our defending in injury time.

"The reality is that at set plays, individuals didn't do what they should have done. I am not in to naming and shaming.

"I have no intention of picking out individuals. They know who they are. They know the job that they should have done. They didn't do it. We paid the price.

The Blues boss also maintains that he is the first one to assign his men's achievements to the history books.

Tuesday's defeat denied them the chance of grabbing a fourth successive league and cup double.

"Right now, what we did in the past three years, I'm not concerned with. That's history, great history, fantastic achievements.

"However, all I'm focused on is winning more trophies. I'm just disappointed that we'll not now be able to go on and win the trophy as we were able to do in each of the past three years.

"We were four minutes away from a major final. You ask people to do jobs and they don't do it. That's why we are not going to another final.

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph