Belfast Telegraph

Healy delighted with debutant Larkin despite Rosenborg loss

 

By Graham Luney

Linfield centre-back Ross Larkin made his debut in the daunting Champions League clash at Rosenborg and his manager David Healy feels he passed the tough test with flying colours.

The 20-year-old, who was recruited in the summer from Portadown, will never forget his competitive debut as the classy Norwegians won 4-0 on Wednesday and 6-0 on aggregate.

With Mark Stafford facing a fitness battle, Larkin was thrust onto the big stage and a composed performance impressed Healy.

"Credit to Ross," he said. "He's playing at a level that he has probably never been accustomed to. He has played at youth level for Northern Ireland and he has all the attributes you look for.

"When you throw a young player in at the deep end you hope he plays well and he looked comfortable. Shayne (Lavery) is another player who has pace, energy and he will improve."

Linfield drop into the Europa League qualifiers and will make the trip to the Faroe Islands to take on HB Torshavn in the second-round first leg on Tuesday.

"We are disappointed to lose the game but I can't fault the players," added Healy. "It's been a positive few days."

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