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Flying start: Christy Manzinga

Flying start: Christy Manzinga

UEFA via Getty Images

Flying start: Christy Manzinga

Linfield striker Christy Manzinga says he's loving life with the Blues and there is more magic to come from him.

The 25-year-old almost netted a late equaliser for David Healy's side against Legia Warsaw in Poland on Tuesday night but his sweet strike rebounded off the post and the Premiership champions slipped to a 1-0 Champions League first qualifying round defeat.

It took a fine finish from Jose Kante to smash Linfield's spirited resistance and it came after Kirk Millar's dismissal with 15 minutes left.

Manzinga grabbed a debut goal in the 2-0 win over Tre Fiori of San Marino in Geneva and the man who has played club football in France, Belgium and Scotland looks to be a real ace in the Windsor Park pack.

"We were really close to getting a great result and were very unlucky after working so hard," said the former Motherwell man, who agreed a two-year contract this month. "For 80 minutes we did really well and we just need to keep working hard.

"It's a huge step for us and a great performance. The players were brilliant and defensively we were unbelievable. I thought we couldn't defend like that for the whole game but we did it. The defence was incredible.

"My shot hit the post but football can be like that, sometimes you are unlucky and you just have to learn and be better the next time.

"I'm settling in well. It's a great club and I want to fight for them and give them my heart.

"Everyone has been great with me and I'm happy with performances but I want to keep scoring and a striker wants to keep scoring goals. I'm just waiting for other opportunities.

"We can take confidence from this game, particularly with our defensive shape, and I'm sure we can play another good game in Europe.

"I want to show what I can do and show the fans how happy I am here."

Healy was gutted to see his side concede a late goal but he was thrilled with their overall performance against formidable opponents.

The former Northern Ireland striker said: "We were expecting a tough game but we were stubborn and worked hard. We stuck to our game plan and are delighted to play as well as we did.

"I thought the officials were slightly off in some decisions but I don't think the sending off had too much effect on the game.

"The players continued to work hard and create chances. They gave everything for the club and I'm immensely proud of them."

Fans saluted the performance on social media, with one saying: "Another very impressive performance from @OfficialBlues in Europe. The European campaigns under David Healy have been superb with plenty to be proud of."

Another added: "You played with heart so nothing but respect for this club."

Belfast Telegraph