Belfast Telegraph

Manager David Healy won't give up on Blues' title bid

By Stuart McKinely

David Healy has once again spelt out his determination to make Linfield a force in the Danske Bank Premiership.

And despite currently being 11 points behind leaders Crusaders, he intends to do it this season.

Given the gap, the Blues boss is honest enough to admit that other big games could well determine their fate, but his own focus will be firmly fixed on what Linfield are doing.

It isn't, however, like that around the rest of the league, with Healy taking aim at others who he believes take more pleasure out of Linfield failing than any success that their own team might enjoy.

He has learned quickly since taking over two months ago, with four successive league defeats coming in November, but Healy is demanding that a Premiership win over Coleraine and a County Antrim Shield semi-final success over Carrick Rangers is used as the trigger for a revival.

"I thought we'd turned a bit of a corner against Coleraine and was then disappointed against Ballinamallard," said Healy, ahead of tomorrow's trip to Ballymena United.

"We finished off the game against Carrick well after a good second-half performance and now hopefully we can build on that.

"I was hoping we were going to build on it from the Coleraine game going into the Ballinamallard game, but we didn't.

"It can't be stop-start, especially at home because anything other than a win is the end of the world to some people - especially the people outside of here.

"We realise that, I realised that before I took the job, but I didn't realise how much people do enjoy talking about Linfield and aren't concerning themselves about their own clubs or their own problems or situations or how well other clubs are doing. It's always a case of 'great, Linfield aren't doing well'. They should worry about themselves."

That's what Healy is doing, although he will be keeping a check on the other games involving title contenders Cliftonville, but particularly leaders Crusaders.

"It's going to be a long road back. Crusaders are in a good position, but who knows?," said Healy.

"They've to play Cliftonville a couple of times, they've got to play us a couple of times and they could get a few injuries or suspensions and it's up to us to put ourselves back in that situation.

"It's going to be difficult, I understand that, but it's not something I am going to give up on."

Linfield will have home advantage against Ballymena United in the County Antrim Shield final on Tuesday January 12.

Belfast Telegraph


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