Now we know we won't run away with the title, says Linfield boss Healy
Linfield manager David Healy says Tuesday night's defeat to Crusaders was a wake-up call for his side.
The Blues lost their first game in 27 domestic appearances, a run stretching all the way back to January, and also conceded their first goals of this season's campaign.
Jordan Forsythe and Paul Heatley scored two superb goals to hand the Crues a 2-1 win at Seaview which puts them above the Blues into second.
"In a way for us it's an eye-opener to realise that we aren't going to run away with the league," Healy confessed.
"It's a competitive league, there's going to be more than the two teams who were in charge last year.
"We lost a game of football to a team who, going into the season, you would have said were our biggest rivals.
"But I always hope for a reaction, and I'm sure with the mentality of the players they'll bounce back on Saturday."
The former Northern Ireland striker was highly critical of his players, who failed to test Brian Jensen in the first half and only sporadically in the second.
"The first half was unacceptable, we were overrun and we looked like this was a non-event for us," Healy blasted.
"That's how we lost the game. Second half I asked for a reaction at half-time, and I got a reaction, but we lost the game in the first half.
"I was surprised at how poor we were from one to 11. Actually, I'll exclude Roy (Carroll) because the goal Forsythe scored was a wonderful strike, but two to 11, unacceptable, not good enough."
Now attention turns to basement dwellers Ballinamallard United, who are yet to pick up a win this season and travel to Windsor Park on Saturday.
Gavin Dykes' side arrive off the back of a 5-1 thumping at home to Crusaders last Saturday, and Healy says he needs a reaction from his players.
"(I want) a reaction on Saturday, which I know we'll get," the manager said.
"It will be a difficult test, but if we turn up with the same attitude as we had in the second half tonight then hopefully we can get the three points."