Healy urges Linfield players to remember past defeats to Bannsiders

Coleraine defeat in February should be fresh in Blues’ minds

Sports Direct Premiership
Crusaders v Linfield
David Healy of Linfield at full time during this Evening’s game at Seaview Stadium, Belfast.  
Photo - Andrew McCarroll/ Pacemaker Press
Linfield manager David Healy (Andrew McCarroll/Andrew McCarroll/ Pacemaker Press)

Linfield manager David Healy will be “reminding his players” of the 3-0 defeat against Coleraine back in February, as they prepare to clash once more in tonight’s Sports Direct Irish Premiership tie at Windsor Park,

This evening sees a full calendar of league fixtures as the season draws towards its conclusion, with only three rounds remaining.

After defeating Crusaders thanks to a 93rd minute winner from Daniel Finlayson on Friday night, confidence will be high amongst Blues’ supporters that they can haul in Larne who are only one point ahead at the top of the table. Boss Healy insists his side need no extra motivation for tonight’s encounter given what happened on the north coast two months ago.

“We lost heavily to Coleraine the last time out, and that is something I will be reminding the players of when we get back into training,” he said.

“We will make sure we have that edge and motivation.

“Looking back on the game we probably shouldn’t have lost 3-0, but that was a bad day for the football club on and off the pitch.“

But look we have responded positively from then and have put ourselves right back in the mix for the title.

”With Chris McKee making a returnon Friday evening and Chris Shields also returning from injury, Linfield appear to be hitting form at just the right time, and it is their knack of getting over the line, that gives them the appearance of champions.

However, Coleraine will have something to say on the matter and have been on some fantastic form themselves of late.

A run of seven games undefeated, beginning with that victory over the Blues, hasgiven Oran Kearney’s side a new lease of life after a horrific winter.

Matthew Shevlin appears to have re-discovered his “mojo” after his double in the 2-1defeat of Glentoran on Saturday.

It is not only Linfield who have struggled against the Bannsiders lately. Larne, Crusaders and Cliftonville have all drawn with Kearney’s men in the last month, and they will not want to end that unbeaten run tonight, and Healy has been impressed what he has seen of them of late.

“Credit to Oran and everyone at Coleraine they have certainly changed the way they go about their business in recent times, they like to play football.“I believe their new artificial pitch has helped them to get an edge.

“They have certainly caused us trouble at times and we are fully aware of the challenge ahead on Tuesday night,” he concluded.

Meanwhile, leaders Larne travel to Glentoran with the aim of securing top spot in the table before they meet Linfield at the weekend in what is surely to be a title-decider.

The Glens will be looking for a response under Declan Devine after their disappointing loss against Coleraine on Saturday.

Elsewhere this evening, Crusaders host Cliftonville in the north Belfast derby at Seaview. Both sides saw losses at the weekend and will be desperate for a victory.

Perhaps Cliftonville moreso, given their horrendous destruction at the hands of Larne in their 8-1defeat.

Ballymena United could be sure of avoiding bottom spot in the table and automatic relegation if they can defeat Glenavon at the Showgrounds, and Newry fall to Carrick Rangers at home, Rangers themselves defeated United on Saturday.

Finally, Dungannon Swifts host seventh-placed Loughgall, with the visitors still keen to finish in the final play-off spot despite manager Dean Smith lacking the necessary UEFA license for European football. Stuart King and Carrick will be watching on with interest.