Belfast Telegraph

Healy not expecting easy ride as Linfield aim to do double damage on Dungannon Swifts

 

No complacency: Linfield manager David Healy says he expects a tough test despite his side easily disposing of Dungannon in the League Cup during the week
No complacency: Linfield manager David Healy says he expects a tough test despite his side easily disposing of Dungannon in the League Cup during the week
Adrian Rutherford

By Adrian Rutherford

David Healy insists Linfield's big win against Dungannon in midweek will count for nothing when the sides meet again today.

It was all too comfortable for the Blues on Tuesday night as they swept into the League Cup quarter-finals with a 4-0 victory.

Today they are back at Stangmore Park, this time in the Danske Bank Premiership.

Healy was impressed with his side's clinical display, but believes today will be a very different - and difficult - match.

"It will be a completely different game, probably different conditions," he said.

"Playing here, league football, it's been difficult at times, so we will expect another tough challenge on Saturday.

"We will need to be every bit as good, if not better, as we were on Tuesday to get the three points."

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Linfield are 10 points behind leaders Crusaders after last Friday night's defeat at Seaview.

They do have games in hand, but a win today is essential to keep the Crues in sight.

The Blues haven't lost at Stangmore Park since November 2013, and have won on each of their last four visits in all competitions.

That includes Tuesday night's League Cup tie, where they scored twice in the opening 14 minutes to kill the game.

Healy admits a similarly strong start is needed this afternoon.

"It is important you try and do that, try and put a stamp on the game," he added.

"We know it will not be easy, regardless of what happened in the first game. The score is back to 0-0 and we have to start again.

"Dungannon are a good side, they have started the league season well, and we expect a tough challenge again."

Swifts boss Kris Lindsay, a former Linfield defender, also wants his players to put Tuesday night out of their system.

He said: "It's another chance for us and hopefully we can come out of it with a different result. We are at home, in the league, and we want to try and pick up as many points as we can. Saturday is no different.

"We obviously know how difficult that task will be, we saw their quality on Tuesday night, but it is one we will approach positively."

Lindsay admits Dungannon have to improve from midweek, particularly dealing with the Blues' threat from set-pieces.

He added: "There are lessons to be learned. I thought at times we did well, we held our shape well and worked hard.

"Hopefully we can work on a few things ahead of Saturday and try for a different result."

One positive from Tuesday was a debut for summer signing Callum Byers.

The defender, who joined from Ards, was injured during pre-season, but came through 90 minutes. Lindsay added: "I'm really glad to get Callum back. That was his debut and I thought he did well. He is a good communicator and a good organiser."

Both sides have injury concerns heading into today's game.

Healy will check on the fitness of full-back Chris Casement, who pulled out of the midweek game after picking up a knock in the warm-up.

Midfielder Bastien Hery suffered a nose injury but should be available.

Dungannon's main injury concern is goalkeeper Sam Johnston, who suffered a groin strain before Tuesday night's game.

 

Linfield

Dungannon S

Danske Bank Premiership

Stangmore Park, Today, 3pm

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