Andy Waterworth urges Linfield to bounce back from defeat to Crusaders by seeing off Warrenpoint Town

Linfield's Andy Waterworth
Linfield's Andy Waterworth

Striker Andy Waterworth declared his team will be judged on how they respond following last weekend’s demoralising defeat by Crusaders at Seaview.

The Blues approached the game having racked up an impressive six match unbeaten run, but they were simply blown away by the current Danske Bank Premiership champions.

Basement side Warrenpoint Town on Saturday make the trek to Windsor Park, knowing they enter the den of a wounded lion.

“It’s important we bounce back after last week,” stated Waterworth, who has hit the net on nine occasions this season.

“I don’t think it’s a matter of trying to prove a point – it was a one-off display at Seaview. It was a day that anything that could go wrong, went wrong.

“Yes, it’s disappointing, but it happens. We have to take on the chin on move on.”

Waterworth agrees it was a mixture of the Blues having an off day and the Crues producing probably their best display of the season.

“They battered us, to be fair,” he added. “We were embarrassed. We disappointed not only ourselves, but for our manager and the supporters. The game was over after 70 minutes, or even before that.

“But there is no point dwelling on it. It’s over and done with. We need to get it out of our system and the only way to do that is to start winning again.”

Barry Gray’s Warrenpoint have won only one game this season, but Waterworth insists they will be given full respect, saying: “We treat every opponent the same.”

“They (Warrenpoint) have a habit of making things difficult for us, especially at Windsor. They set up well defensively and hit us on the counter attack.

“I know we defeated them 5-1 last season, it certainly wasn’t a true reflection of the game. We don’t take any team lightly. We know we’ll need to be at our best to get a result,” he added.

“They have some tricky players up front that can hurt you. We’ll take a 1-0 win every day of the week.”

Town boss Barry Gray admits it will be a massive task going to a team coming off the back of a heavy defeat against one of their title rivals, but he wants an improvement on last week’s home lose to Dungannon.

“We must up our game,” he said. “We were poor against Dungannon, they wanted to win more than we did, they worked harder than us. We have to dust ourselves down and move on for what will be a big test.

“Having suffered their first defeat last week, I’m sure Linfield will want to get that out of their system. But we must be ready to meet the challenge head on.”

Gray will be without injured duo John McGuigan and Sean Donnelly.