Belfast Telegraph

Healy raps moaners as Blues lose ground

Coleraine 1 Linfield 1

By Keith Thomas

Linfield's record 51 title triumphs doesn't give them the right to expect the Gibson Cup to be handed to them on a plate.

That was the stark warning to some fans from frustrated boss David Healy following Saturday's draw at Coleraine.

Healy rounded on the moaners who he could hear from the Showgrounds dugout as the Blues dropped points for the second consecutive game. They now trail champions Crusaders by four points as they chase a first league crown in four years.

Healy blasted: "I heard them behind me having a go, but titles and medals in 2016-17 are not handed out because of this club's history and past achievements.

"I understand the history, but we've no divine right to come here and win a game of football."

Andy Waterworth headed Linfield into a 17th minute lead but Coleraine, who started the day two points behind their opponents in third spot, grabbed a deserved point as striker James McLaughlin came off the bench to glance a superb headed reply.

Healy said: "We didn't battle enough in the second half. We were the better team in the opening 45 minutes without being fully in control but we couldn't maintain that."

And ahead of tomorrow night's County Antrim Shield quarter-final at home to Cliftonville, who beat them in the midweek league clash last week, he has urged fans to back his Blues.

"I want them to get behind the players. That is what we need right now," he said. "I am long enough in the tooth to deal with what is being said but some of the players are new to it.

"If the fans back us hopefully the players will respond and we can move forward together."

Coleraine manager Oran Kearney reckoned the outcome was just about right.

He said: "Sometimes when you go behind to a side of Linfield's capabilities, it can be ominous because they know how to look after a lead and see a game out.

"We have a confidence in ourselves and why wouldn't we when you look at our results and see where we are in the table?

"I asked the players to have a real go and leave nothing in the tank. At half-time I just thought we were playing within ourselves and they didn't let me down."

COLERAINE: Johns, Kane, Mullan (McLaughlin, 52 mins), Douglas, McConachie (Ogilby, 64 mins), McCauley, McCafferty, Brown, Lyons, Parkhill (Allan, 76 mins), McGonigle. Unused subs: Higgins, Morrow.

LINFIELD: Carroll, Clingan, Haughey, Callacher, Waterworth, Millar (Carson, 74 mins), Clarke, Mulgrew, Casement, Gaynor (Frazer, 84 mins), Smyth (Burns, 9 mins). Unused subs: Ward, Quinn.

Referee: Evan Boyce (Ballygowan)

Man of the match: Jamie Mulgrew

Match rating: 8/10

Belfast Telegraph


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