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Linfield boss David Healy and 'a number of personnel' miss Europa Conference League trip to Borac in Bosnia for 'variety' of reasons


David Healy

David Healy

David Healy

Linfield have confirmed that manager David Healy and 'a number of personnel' have missed out on the team's trip to Bosnia.

The Blues are taking on Borac Banja Luka in the Europa Conference League second qualifying round second leg tonight, trying to hold on to the 4-0 first leg lead they gained at Windsor Park.

However, once the team news was announced, the club released a statement to confirm that Healy was one of a number of players and staff who didn't travel to the continent ‘due to a wide variety of injury or personal reasons’.

Summer signing Chris Shields is the only member of last week's matchday squad to drop out of the playing panel in Bosnia with Niall Quinn replacing him in the starting line-up and loan signing from Hull Billy Chadwick coming on to the bench.

A statement posted on the Linfield club website read:

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"Linfield FC has submitted team sheets for tonight’s huge UEFA Conference League second round, second leg tie away to Borac Banja Luka, the Bosnian league champions.

"Close examination of the team sheets will reveal that a number of club personnel have unfortunately been unavailable for this trip to Bosnia, due to a wide variety of injury or personal reasons that were known to the club in advance of travel to Banja Luka.

"The personnel who have been unavailable for this trip include several players and backroom staff members and the team manager.

"The club has aimed to avoid all distractions by maintaining sole focus on the task facing the party who are in Bosnia this evening and who go into tonight’s game with the full support and best wishes of everyone connected to Linfield Football Club.

"Tonight’s game is going to be very tough against an excellent team in challenging conditions and surroundings but our preparations have been professional, excellent, thorough and as close to normal as possible.

"If (as we all hope and have worked towards) we were to be successful in reaching the next round of this prestigious competition, we would hope to have most of tonight’s missing personnel available again for what would be a home first leg game next week."

Meanwhile, their opponents Borac will also be without their manager from the first leg as Marko Maksimović resigned yesterday in an attempt to ‘shock’ the side into a dramatic comeback.

"The reason is his desire to shake the team with this shock before tomorrow's rematch against (Linfield),” read a statement on the club website.

The announcement went on to explain that the decision is not as knee-jerk as it may seem, having involved discussions with the board after their last gasp Champions League defeat to CFR Cluj earlier this month and most ‘intensely’ since the weekend.

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