IRISH LEAGUE: David Healy asks players do they want to be successful with Linfield

Linfield boss David Healy
Linfield boss David Healy

Linfield manager David Healy said he was horrified by his team's performance in the 5-2 home loss to Crusaders in the Danske Bank Premiership on Monday night.

Crusaders put five goals past shell-shocked league champions Linfield at Windsor Park on Monday to move into third place in the Irish Premiership.

Linfield manager David Healy

Linfield manager David Healy

Paul Heatley's early strike was doubled by a Mark Stafford own goal before the defender scored at the right end.

Gavin Whyte made it 3-1 but Aaron Burns' goal briefly gave Linfield hope.

However, another own goal, this time by Jimmy Callacher, and a Philip Lowry strike saw Linfield leak five goals at home for the first time since 1994.

Healy said: “I was horrified. Defensively we were all over the place. We took great pride in being a team that keep clean sheets in my 18 months here.

“But we were miles off it. Some of the mistakes were basic errors. The mistakes are becoming a bit of a habit. We need rectify that.

“We were 2-0 down after 35 minutes or so, but I thought we were still shading it. But if you’ve no cutting edge or no desire to take the lead, you don’t deserve to win games.

“I desperately concerned about the run we are on and felt embarrassed with this result.

“We were well beaten in the end. The only consolation is, we’ve got 27 league games left. We are miles behind at the minute . . . we have a mountain to climb.

“I’m now asking my players publicly, have they got the hunger, desire and passion to regain the league title.

“I told the players I’ll take responsibility, but somewhere along the line, I’m going to need a little bit back from the players, who we (the backroom staff) give the contracts to and have firm belief in.

“They get everything off me; they get everything off the staff, the get everything off the Club and the Board. So now I’m asking them publicly do they really want to be successful at the football club.

“We hoped we had improved our squad from last year year, but that doesn’t seem to be the case at the minutes."