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Linfield can hit back and embark on another unbeaten run, says Casement


By Alex Mills

Defender Chris Casement insists Linfield don't intend to feel sorry for themselves following their midweek defeat at Crusaders.

It was the first time that David Healy's Danske Bank Premiership champions had been beaten domestically since January 3 - a run spanning 27 games.

So when they trudged off the Seaview pitch following an energy-sapping 90 minutes of action on Tuesday night, they not only had to deal with the trauma of defeat, but also the fact that they conceded their first goals of the season.

It's a well known fact that Linfield are at their most dangerous when they are on the ropes, so expect them to come out all guns blazing when Gavin Dykes brings his basement team, Ballinamallard United, to Windsor Park tomorrow.

"We have lost a game of football - it happens to the best of teams," said Casement. "It's now all about how we react.

"Ballinamallard will be another test. They'll enjoy coming to Windsor Park. We all know that teams lift their game when they come to the international stadium. But we'll be well prepared. It's important that we now take off on another unbeaten run of games.

"We'll be busting a gut to put things right. That's the beauty about football, you don't have to wait long to get the chance to put things right."

Casement believes there is no point in the Blues beating themselves up over the result in midweek. He said: "Defeat was a feeling we hadn't been used to for quite some time.

"We had been on a good run but we knew it wouldn't last forever. It was better coming sooner rather than later.

"We knew we dropped our standards in the first half of the game. Fair play to Crusaders, they came out of the blocks really well.

"They gave it a real go and scored two good goals, although we honestly think we could have done better on both.

"We weathered the first-half storm and had a chat at half-time. There were a few constructive words. The gaffer told us what he wanted in the second half. He told us not to panic. We came out and gave it a go, but it wasn't meant to be."

Linfield manager David Healy and his assistant Ross Oliver yesterday visited Glentoran supporter Allen Davidson in hospital to wish him well in his recovery after he took ill prior to Saturday's Big Two game at Windsor Park.

Meanwhile, Warrenpoint Town boss Matty Tipton is banking on Darren Murray to spark his team in tomorrow's clash with Dungannon Swifts at Stangmore Park.

The big striker missed out last week as he had to serve an automatic one-game ban following his dismissal against Glentoran.

Tipton, the former Linfield, Portadown and Ballymena United striker, is looking for a change of fortune at Stangmore.

"To be honest, Dungannon is a club I admire and have admired for a long time," he said. "They have a manager in Rodney McAree who wants to get the ball down and play.

"They work off a small budget but are not afraid to give youth a chance. They are the benchmark for a club like our own.

"Although Dungannon wouldn't be classed as a big club, they have maintained their place in the Premiership for many years - something which has to be admired."

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