IRISH LEAGUE: David Healy ready to take title race to the wire

Mark Haughey (left) scores to complete Linfields remarkable comeback
Mark Haughey (left) scores to complete Linfields remarkable comeback
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David Healy says his Linfield are determined to keep fighting for the Danske Bank Premiership title the bitter end of the season.

The Blues showed that fighting spirit at Coleraine Showgrounds on Saturday fighting back from 2-0 down to grab an unlikely win.

David Healy celebrates

David Healy celebrates

That result leaves them seven points behind leaders Crusaders, but Healy is determined to push them all the way.

“We’re still in there fighting,” said a defiant Healy after the game.

People are talking about the big two – Crusaders and Cliftonville – and nobody is mentioning us, but maybe they will after today.

“We’ll certainly be hoping the Crues slip up somewhere along the way.

“What disappointed me more than anything last week was we knew that Crusaders had dropped points, but we couldn’t take advantage of that.

“There’s still a lot of games to be played though. We have to go to Crusaders again and there will be a lot of tough games after the split.

“We know it’s not going to be easy. If we win our last seven or eight games though and Crusaders still win the League then we’ll hold our hands up and say they deserved it.”

The Linfield boss was delighted his side answered a lot of their critics with Saturday’s win.

But he admitted playing for the Blues brings its own added pressures.

“I said to the players afterwards that they had answsered the questions everyone has been asking about them,” he said.

“But it’s only today that they’ve answered them. Next week people will be asking those same questions yet again.

“People always want to what’s going on inside Linfield when we drop points, it’s because we’re the most successful club.

“People will ask why we’re not winning games, why we’re not winning trophies.

“We didn’t start the game in the manner that I had hoped today, especially coming off the back of a defeat last week.

“What we did show, and I asked the players for it before the game, was a bit of guts and passion for the Linfield badge.

“I keep saying to our players we don’t get much. People think Linfield get all the decisions and have the best of everything, I don’t think we do.

“Everybody outside of Linfield is always questioning us. Everyone wants to see us beat or drop points.

“That’s the seige mentality we’re going to need for the rest of the season. It’s going to be tough but we’re still in there fighting.”

Healy’s opposite number, Oran Kearney, was not oonly disappointed with letting a two-goal lead slip away, but also the manner of the goals his side conceded.

“When you go 2-0 up at home you expect to have enough to see the game through,” he said.

“We just didn’t give ourselves the chance to kick on and get something from the game.

“When you play against the likes of Crusaders, Cliftonville and Linfield if you are going to take three points off them you don’t concede from set pieces.

“I’m delighted to have sealed a top six finish though, it has been a very good season for us so far.

“It’s frustrating though for us to be so close to kicking on to that next level, but we still have work to do,” added Kearney.