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Linfield boss David Healy will turn things around maintains Ronnie McFall


Centre of attention: Marcio Soares leads the celebrations after wrapping up Portadown's victory over Linfield late on

Centre of attention: Marcio Soares leads the celebrations after wrapping up Portadown's victory over Linfield late on

Brian Little/Presseye

Centre of attention: Marcio Soares leads the celebrations after wrapping up Portadown's victory over Linfield late on

David Healy has been backed to be a success as Linfield manager by the man whose team inflicted the defeat that stretched the Blues' losing run to four successive league games.

It was only a month ago that Portadown boss Ronnie McFall was feeling the heat after losing four league games in a row himself.

He has ridden out that storm, with Saturday's 2-0 win over the Blues meaning the Ports have taken seven points from their last three games.

The spotlight has now turned on Healy, with Linfield on their longest losing streak since 1997.

That run comes just six weeks after Healy took over from Warren Feeney and McFall, who was sacked by Glentoran in his late 30s - after winning both the Irish League and Irish Cup - before leading Portadown to unprecedented success, believes that Northern Ireland's record goalscorer will get it right in time.

"The phase he is going through now in his first job - and it's not an easy job managing Linfield - is very difficult, but it'll stand him in good stead the rest of his career because it'll turn for him," said McFall.

"You've just got to keep on working at it and keep believing.

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"He's got to put his own stamp on the team and he's certainly got the experience at the very highest level and playing under some top managers, so I've no doubt that he'll turn it around.

"He came in at the start of a phase of matches that was always going to be difficult - playing Crusaders, Cliftonville, Glenavon and us was always going to be very difficult for him.

"He's just got to continue to believe in what he's doing and look at trying to improve on the squad."

Healy has said that "'it will be interesting to see what happens in January", but McFall is warning Linfield fans not to expect the transfer window to cure everything at Windsor Park.

"He'll not rectify it all in January. No chance," said McFall.

"He'll then have to try to rectify it in the close season."

The longer the game went on at Shamrock Park the more significant the first goal was going to be.

It almost came Linfield's way on 48 minutes only for Andy Waterworth to be denied when Ross Redman blocked his shot on the line.

Fast forward a matter of seconds and Redman was on hand at the other end of the pitch to assist as Chris Casement opened the scoring.

Linfield battled but found a red wall between them and the goal and their frustration was compounded when substitute Marcio Soares rolled the ball home to make it 2-0 on 90 minutes after Gary Twigg held the ball up and picked him out.

Fine margins made the difference and McFall claimed that was also the case while his team was struggling to put points on the board.

"I thought matches that we didn't win we played well for parts of them and we didn't take our chances," he said

"Then we lose a goal and when you get on a run like that confidence goes and it's hard to get it back.

"The Carrick match was massive for us, down to 10 men and coming back from 2-0 down to win 3-2 and we've carried on from that and looked more like ourselves since then."

POTADOWN: Miskelly, Ramsey, Oman, O'Hara, Redman, Casement, Gault, Garrett, Mackle, Murray (Soares 86 mins), Twigg

Subs not used: Brennan, Breen, Mouncey, Parker

Goals: Casement 49, Soares 90

LINFIELD: Ross Glendinning, Reece Glendinning, Callacher, Stafford, Clarke, Millar (Sproule 69 mins), Mulgrew (Murray 86 mins), Kee, Smyth, Bates (Quinn 69 mins), Waterworth

Subs not used: Deane, Ward

Man of match: Chris Casement

Match rating: 8/10

Referee: Ian McNabb (Carrickfergus)

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