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David Healy calls for Linfield to rediscover cutting edge in bid to get back on top

 

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Rallying call: David Healy wants to get back on the goal trail

Rallying call: David Healy wants to get back on the goal trail

�INPHO/Brian Little

Daniel Reynolds, who has gone on loan to Carrick

Daniel Reynolds, who has gone on loan to Carrick

PMAKER

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Rallying call: David Healy wants to get back on the goal trail

Linfield manager David Healy has urged his boys to become more ruthless in front of goal.

The current Danske Bank Premiership title holders lost their top-of-the-table status last weekend when they were surprisingly held to a scoreless draw by basement strugglers Dungannon Swifts.

Even though Healy's team carved out numerous opportunities, they not only failed miserably in front of goal but came up against an inspired shot-stopper in 16-year-old Conor Byrne.

Such are the fine margins in this intriguing title race, it meant the Blues dropped to third place in the table, two points adrift of Big Two rivals Glentoran.

With Gary Hamilton's erratic Glenavon due to leave a calling card at Windsor Park today, Healy insists his team cannot afford another misfiring performance, especially in front of their frustrated home supporters.

"I can make all the excuses going, but we simply lacked a cutting edge last weekend," admitted the former Northern Ireland striker.

"The harder we tried, the more difficult it became and then frustration set in.

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"When you analyse the chances missed, good opportunities the likes of Shayne Lavery and Mark Stafford would normally stick in the back of the net, then you begin to think, 'This is not going to be our day'.

"We just didn't do enough to win the game and, basically, we were not good enough on the day.

"In saying that, I couldn't really fault the players' attitude, they kept going right until the 94th minute.

"We simply lacked a cutting edge and that ultimately cost us the chance of winning the game.

"There are very fine margins between winning and losing in this league.

"We got some really good balls into the box, especially when Kirk Millar was introduced in the second half.

"There has got to be more of an edge for us to score.

"We needed someone to step up. It doesn't always have to be a centre-forward or one of the front men, it could be one of the midfielders or a defender."

Healy did attempt to rectify the situation in midweek by signing 21-year-old striker Rory Currie from Hearts on a loan agreement until the end of the season.

"His arrival will help increase our striking options and competition levels," he added.

"He has the experience of playing in Scotland and in the Northern Ireland Under-21 set-up, so he'll be a big asset for us."

With five teams jostling for the top spot on a weekly basis, Healy admits there is no room for error against the Lurgan Blues.

He added: "We are still in and around where we wanted to be in the league table at this time of the year.

"It would have been good to back up our win at Cliftonville (the previous Monday) with another three points last week, but it wasn't to be.

"Glenavon have been blowing hot and cold, but they had a good win last time out against Ballymena United so they'll not be short of confidence.

"The title race is wide open - and I think it will be like that over the coming number of weeks. I can't imagine any of the top five clubs winning 12 or 13 games on the bounce.

"I would say the top five positions will change quite considerably right up until the split for the final five matches. It's that type of league campaign. Glentoran are now top, but they could well be replaced come five o'clock on Saturday.

"We have an opportunity to stay in the mix with another home fixture against Glenavon, so it's important we make that count."

Healy yesterday confirmed that midfielder Andrew Mitchell had moved to Larne, while Daniel Reynolds has joined Carrick Rangers in a loan switch.

Healy said: "I want to place on record my personal and sincere appreciation for his contribution during his time at this club and I want to wish him well in all that he does in the future.

"Furthermore, we've also reached agreement with Carrick Rangers for Daniel Reynolds to join them on loan until the end of the season.

"This is a great move for Daniel to hopefully benefit from increased opportunities for game time at first-team level at what is a good club enjoying a fine season.

"We wish him well during his loan spell and we will monitor his progress with a very close interest."


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