Belfast Telegraph

Healy: Injured trio to be assessed

Linfield boss David Healy
Linfield boss David Healy

Linfield skipper Jamie Mulgrew, Shayne Lavery and Ryan McGivern all picked up knocks in the Bet McLean League Cup Quarter-final victory over Cliftonville last night

David Healy says that Mulgrew, Lavery and McGivern, who all had to go off in the 1-0 win at Windsor Park that saw the current holders into the last four of this season's competition, will be assessed tomorrow as to whether they are fit for action when the Blues host Carrick Rangers in the Danske Bank Premiership this weekend.

Linfield's Shayne Lavery and Carrick's Chris Rodgers
Linfield's Shayne Lavery and Carrick's Chris Rodgers

Joel Cooper's early goal was enough to see Healy's men progress, but the former Northern Ireland international was most pleased with his side's solidity as they kept Joe Gormley and company at bay for most of the game.

"They scored five on Saturday and Gormley is coming off the back of a hat-trick, plus they have the likes of Rory Donnelly too. But for every successful season, we try to build it off the back of clean sheets," Healy told LinfieldFC.com.

"The back four changed tonight with Mark Stafford coming in and then Ryan McGivern going off. It was pleasing to have Josh [Robinson] back on  the bench. I didn't think he would play as much as he did tonight, but he seems to have come through it okay. It gives you a wee bit of a headache.

"Hopefully Ryan is okay, Shayne Lavery came off injured and Jamie Mulgrew limped off at the end, so they will all be assessed on Thursday to see if they are fit and available for Saturday against Carrick. That's the next biggest game. Carrick have done okay this season and they got a morale-boosting win on Saturday.

"They always make life difficult for you. They're well-organised, they play at a good tempo and they are 100 per cent committed and I expect no different," Healy added.       

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Linfield captain Jamie Mulgrew
Linfield captain Jamie Mulgrew

"I thought we were good tonight, apart from the first two or three minutes where I think Gormley had a shot and Gareth [
Deane]had to make a half-decent save. Apart from that, I thought we dominated, we dominated possession, we dominated opportunities, we missed a penalty, scored a goal that should have been a goal. It was over the line. All in all, I'm pleased with the reaction, pleased with the attitude.

"We played Cliftonville a couple of weeks ago in the County Antrim Shield and gave them too much space. We let them play and it was probably a typical Co Antrim game where it was 'we have it, you have it'. But tonight, I thought we got on top of them and dominated for large spells without scoring the second goal. But we had numerous opportunities."

"Cliftonville are a good side and their league form dictates that. I don't think they've lost too many games since we beat them at Solitude, which is credit to them. It was always going to be tough. They've beaten a lot of the teams around the top end of the table, but i think we were more than a match for them and we proved that tonight."

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