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We'll do business for Healy: Blues ace

By Stuart McKinley

Niall Quinn has revealed that he and his Linfield team mates are ashamed of their recent form that has brought early pressure on manager David Healy.

Now, however, the 22-year-old is looking to the future after playing a big part as the Blues beat Carrick Rangers on Tuesday night to book a place in the final of the County Antrim Shield.

The decider against Ballymena United doesn't come around for almost four weeks and Quinn now wants the focus to be on picking up league points, after suffering four consecutive Premiership defeats during a nasty November.

December has brought four points out of six in the league before the Shield semi success, but Quinn admits there is more work to do - starting against Ballymena United in the Danske Bank Premiership on Saturday.

"The players definitely feel the responsibility. We are a wee bit ashamed of the results recently," said Quinn.

"David has taken the hits a lot, but it's on us as well. The manager knows that and the players know it too.

"David has taken the bullet for us really. Hopefully we can change things.

"We are the ones on the pitch and it is our responsibility to get the results. We haven't been doing that enough lately

"It's not easy losing a manager in mid-season and someone new coming in, but a lot of the backroom staff have stayed. Obviously David has his own ideas, the same as Warren had.

"I think it can only make us better and push us on if we can gel.

"We got the result against Carrick. Our aim was to get to the final and we did it.

"Hopefully we kick on now and get three points at Ballymena on Saturday."

The pressure to win trophies has always hung over Linfield, but this season it is even greater having finished the last campaign empty handed and after a run of three seasons without lifting one of the major prizes.

Quinn can feel the weight of expectation, but rather than wilt under the pressure, he is ready to fight even harder to achieve the success he joined Linfield for.

"The last trophy we won was the County Antrim Shield (2014). I came to Linfield to win things and it hasn't happened enough of late," said Quinn.

"It's massive being in the final. Linfield are there to be in finals and to win trophies. It's expected of us. We did the job. A lot of the players in the changing room are new and haven't won a trophy at Linfield.

"To get the first trophy under their belts would be good for them. Hopefully we can go on and win the Shield and push on in the league too." The Blues are currently 11 points behind leaders Crusaders in the Premiership title race.

Healy isn't giving up on winning the Gibson Cup though - and the good news for the fans is the players feel exactly the same, with a run of fixtures against Glentoran and Crusaders before three meeting with Ballymena in three different competitions sure to be important.

"It's only December, there are a lot of games to go and we've still to play everyone again. The games against the top teams are the ones we need to win and pick up points from," said Quinn.

Belfast Telegraph


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