Belfast Telegraph

Linfield boss Healy backs Roy Carroll after handshake storm

By Steven Beacom

Linfield manager David Healy has insisted that he is backing Roy Carroll "one million percent" after the storm over the goalkeeper's refusal to shake hands with Cliftonville players before Saturday's Irish League match at Solitude.

Carroll's decision not to acknowledge the opposition in the pre-game line-up stirred up much debate amongst fans from both clubs and further afield.

Cliftonville boss, Barry Gray, declared afterwards: "If he was in my team, I would have a massive issue with it."

Gray, who added that Carroll liked to be in the limelight, continued: "What everyone needs to do is to ask Roy for his explanation. Only he can tell why he decided to do that.

"For me, it's a 'fair play' handshake. He's decided not to carry that out."

Northern Ireland star Carroll (40) has stayed silent to date about his reasons for the snub, but his manager and former international team-mate, Healy, has spoken for the first time about what happened prior to what was a hard-fought 1-1 draw in north Belfast.

The Linfield boss revealed he was unaware that ex-Manchester United star Carroll had decided not to shake hands with the Cliftonville team, but stated that the Fermanagh man remained very much his number one goalkeeper and told other managers commenting on the issue to concentrate on their own clubs.

"I've known Roy a long time in football. I'm not going to speak about the decision Roy made because Roy is his own person. I wasn't aware that it was going to happen," said Northern Ireland's record goalscorer Healy, ahead of last night's League Cup game between Linfield and Moyola Park at Windsor Park.

"Why would Roy need to come out and talk about it? I'll be advising Roy to keep his head down and do what he has been doing over the past four or five weeks because he has been a big player for us and a terrific influence. Roy Carroll is Linfield's number one goalkeeper and will remain Linfield's number one goalkeeper."

Healy added: "One thing I'd like to say is that other managers, coaches, chairmen or whoever else outside with their opinions probably need to concentrate on their own football clubs.

"I try and do my best here with the players. We come into situations that we have to deal with as a club and we like to deal with them in house.

"One thing I never do is comment on any other football club, comment on any other player's behaviour or comment on any other manager's behaviour, so for other people outside who maybe want to have a little dig at Roy, I will back Roy one million percent for the rest of the season.

"Other managers, coaches, clubs or whatever need to make sure they manage their own sticky situations."

Belfast Telegraph

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