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Hostile Azeris will be baying for our blood, warns Healy


Linfield manager David Healy
Linfield manager David Healy

By Steven Beacom

David Healy believes hostile Qarabag fans will be baying for Linfield's blood in the second leg of the Europa League play-off round clash in Azerbaijan next week.

The Blues lead 3-2 from the opening leg at Windsor Park thanks to goals from Mark Stafford and Shayne Lavery (2) and are aiming to pull off a huge shock by completing the job in Baku on Thursday. Reaching the group stages of the competition would land the club £4 million in UEFA prize money.

Linfield boss Healy says it will be the biggest challenge of his managerial career to date and insists his players will have to play even better than they did in Belfast to make it through.

"I imagine they (Qarabag) will have 30,000 to 35,000 cheering them on in a hostile atmosphere and they will be baying for our blood," stated Healy who has become the first Linfield manager in history to win four European matches in a row.

"They probably feel that the minimum where they should be is the Europa League group stages having been disappointed to go out of the Champions League.

"Despite us winning at Windsor they are still favourites to progress because of their quality but we have given ourselves a shot with the result and performance in the first leg.

"It will be the biggest challenge of my young managerial career to go there and test myself and it will be a huge test for the players too.

"We will need to be even better than we were at Windsor but the way the players go about their business and the way my staff work, we go there with belief. We've worked very hard and played well to get to where we are and I'm very proud of the position we have put ourselves in ahead of the game in Azerbaijan."

Belfast Telegraph


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