Belfast Telegraph

David Healy warns of changes ahead as Linfield boss vows to improve title-winning squad

Coleraine 1 Linfield 1

Looking ahead: David Healy won’t rest on his laurels
Looking ahead: David Healy won’t rest on his laurels
Red alert: Rodney McAree expects to face Cliftonville

By Steve Jones

Linfield manager David Healy says changes will be made to his championship-winning squad this summer.

The former Northern Ireland striker has already given youth a chance in the closing games of the campaign after the Premiership title was wrapped up with three games to spare.

And now he says that fans will see more alterations to the panel ahead of the new season.

"The plans are always to improve the squad and the club, that's my job as Linfield manager," he said.

"There will be changes. Players in and around the changing room at the minute may find themselves out of it come next season."

For Saturday's season-ending draw at Coleraine, Charlie Allen got the nod at just 15 and youngster Jake Corbett too, with Healy impressed with their commitment.

“It was a chance to show the up and coming players what can lie ahead,” said Healy, who saw 20-year-old Daniel Reynolds net his first Premiership goal for the club since his summer move from Cliftonville - a late equaliser to seal a 1-1 draw.

“We celebrated the title win last weekend and I was happy to let the young players have a taste of senior football, with some excellent performances and contributions from them.”

Allen, who replaced Lorcan Forde near the end, finished his big day with the assist in Reynolds’ equaliser right at the end.

“It will be a day to remember for him and that is something very special,” added Healy.

Former Glentoran winger Dylan Davidson had given Coleraine the lead but they ultimately couldn't hold on to go into the play-offs off the back of a victory.

McAree's men now await the outcome of Saturday's Tennent's Irish Cup final before officially learning their play-off fate, but the Showgrounds chief has a fair idea of what lies in store.

"At this moment in time it looks like we will play Cliftonville, if Crusaders lift the Irish Cup," he said.

"We have to prepare for that but our routine does not change.

"We will train Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and the boys will be one hundred per cent ready and prepared to go to Solitude looking for victory.

"It is two cup finals and we must not look beyond the first game because if we do not win that then there will not be a second game, so we need to make sure we are ready to hit the ground running."

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