| 12.8°C Belfast

Linfield boss Healy is sure Kris will have his Swifts soaring


Firm focus: Blues boss David Healy is after full effort from his men, especially after last weekend's shock at Ards

Firm focus: Blues boss David Healy is after full effort from his men, especially after last weekend's shock at Ards

Firm focus: Blues boss David Healy is after full effort from his men, especially after last weekend's shock at Ards

David Healy is demanding total effort and focus from his Linfield players at Dungannon Swifts today after experiencing a 'wake-up call' last weekend against Ards.

The Blues bounced back from their first defeat of the season to Colin Nixon's men with a 2-1 extra-time County Antrim Shield quarter-final success over Glentoran in midweek.

Even if the Windsor Park outfit weren't at their best in the Big Two derby, Healy was pleased by the application and attitude of his team and wants more of the same at Stangmore Park as the title favourites return to league action.

The Linfield boss has encountered some tricky encounters at Dungannon when Rodney McAree was in charge and expects no change with Kris Lindsay now at the helm.

"Dungannon will be a tough game for us. No matter whether it is Kris in charge or Rodney in my time at Linfield when we've gone to Dungannon you know you will be in for a test," said Healy.

"Rodney wanted Dungannon to play a certain type of way, maybe Kris will vary it and change it but we certainly know that we will need 100% effort from our players on Saturday and if they give us the attitude they showed against Glentoran hopefully that will be enough.

"The Ards defeat was a wake up call to make sure we aren't getting above ourselves and don't believe in all those people who wrote us off at the start of the season and now say we will win the league by a distance.

Daily Headlines & Evening Telegraph Newsletter

Receive today's headlines directly to your inbox every morning and evening, with our free daily newsletter.

This field is required

"It was good to come back and get the win against Glentoran. The game was a million miles an hour.

"There were a lot of mistakes with players on both sides giving possession away needlessly but in a derby it can become a bit edgy.

"One thing I couldn't fault against Glentoran, and I could in the Ards game last Saturday, was the work-rate and attitude of the players."

Following the derby victory, Healy praised the character of striker Andy Waterworth who struck the decisive goal having earlier missed a penalty.

"Andy works hard on the training ground and has been working with myself on finishing. We will continue with that and he will continue to be a huge player for the club," said Healy, who also had positive words for one of the unsung heroes at the club, Niall Quinn.

"Against Glentoran we ended up having to put Niall Quinn in at right-back and credit to Quinny because he finished with three or four staples in his head," said Northern Ireland's record goalscorer.

"Like Andy, Niall has been a huge player for me since I have been here, and on Tuesday again he proved his worth. "

Healy added that Chris Casement, after coming off in the win over Glentoran, has 'zero chance of playing' this afternoon while Josh Robinson and Andy Mitchell are injury doubts.

With current league leaders Glenavon not kicking off until 5pm tonight against Newry City, a win at Dungannon would send Linfield back to the top of the Danske Bank Premiership for a couple of hours at least.

Swifts skipper Ryan Harpur is quietly confident his side can frustrate the Blues.

"Game by game we just need to be collecting as many points as possible, keep the performances going and climb the table, said the 29-year-old who netted in the 1-1 draw at Ballymena last Saturday.

The Swifts showed character to battle back for a point after falling behind after 90 seconds.

Harpur added: "A lot of players put their bodies on the line and fought for the club, fought for the manager and fought for the badge, so overall we're happy.

"Hopefully it's a bit of a platform for us to push on and start climbing the table."

Top Videos