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David Healy 'slightly worried' by emerging Linfield trait after Cliftonville defeat

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Linfield boss David Healy (left) saw his side lead twice before losing out 4-3 to Paddy McLaughlin's Cliftonville.

Linfield boss David Healy (left) saw his side lead twice before losing out 4-3 to Paddy McLaughlin's Cliftonville.

Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press

Linfield boss David Healy (left) saw his side lead twice before losing out 4-3 to Paddy McLaughlin's Cliftonville.

David Healy says his side's propensity to drop points from winning positions this season is becoming 'slightly worrying'.

After their 4-3 defeat at Cliftonville on Tuesday evening, Linfield could thank Coleraine and Portadown for taking respective points off title rivals Larne and Crusaders, ensuring the Blues remain four points clear at the top.

But that didn't make their own result any more pleasing to Healy, as his side slipped up for the fourth time in 14 Premiership games this term.

Notably, in all four of those games, Linfield have opened the scoring. They led 1-0 in the 3-3 draw with Glentoran, the 2-1 loss at Warrenpoint and the 3-1 defeat at Larne. In fact, they led twice at Solitude on Tuesday, through Jordan Stewart and Jamie Mulgrew before the Reds recovered to take a 4-3 victory.

Add in the 13 goals that the Blues have conceded in their last eight outings and you're left with a manager demanding more.

"We made crucial errors that cost us," he told the club website after Tuesday's game. "We've conceded too many goals as a group this year and that's certainly one thing we need to stamp out quickly.

"For some of the little bits of play we had in the first half, we didn't go on and create three, four, five better chances. We had ok half-chances and a couple of balls across but we knew coming in at half-time Cliftonville would have a reaction, which they did.

"Even though the score was level, I thought we were better than them. They came out and scored the second goal against the run of play but that's a few times this year we've been ahead and found a way not to get something out of the game, which is disappointing and slightly worrying."

That said, with Cliftonville leading 3-2, Healy reckons his side should have been awarded a penalty:

"Stevie Fallon was clever enough, he stepped across Jamie Harney and basically bought the penalty. Worst-case scenario, we certainly shouldn't have lost the game."

Next up for Linfield are quickfire back-to-back home games against Dungannon Swifts and Portadown before a title-clash at Seaview against Crusaders in what will be another busy week of Irish League action.

With points now being dropped by the top three at regular intervals, a run of victories could soon open a gap in the most strange of seasons.

"There's a wee bit of disjointment about the whole league but we need to capitalise on that. I still believe we're a strong team and in and around where we need to be," Healy said.

"You can say whatever words you can think of about being annoyed or frustrated but you get an opportunity to bounce back and thankfully we don't have to wait too long."

Belfast Telegraph


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