Crusaders v Linfield: David Healy and Stephen Baxter set for final showdown

Linfield manager David Healy
Linfield manager David Healy

David Healy has told his Linfield players to relish the opportunity of another chance to win some silverware on Tuesday night.

The Blues face Crusaders in the rearranged Co Antrim Shield final at Seaview (kick-off 7.45pm).

Crusaders manager Stephen Baxter

Crusaders manager Stephen Baxter

The final was due to be played on February 5 at Ballymena Showgrounds, but was called off due to a water-logged pitch.

Concerns over the pitch at Warden Street resulted in a coin being tossed to decide which of the finalists would have home advantage, which went in Shield holders Crusaders’ favour.

The rivalry between the two Belfast clubs has been fierce in recent years and Linfield have had the better of their four meetings this season, winning all three Danske Bank Premiership games, but losing an Irish Cup sixth-round tie in extra-time.

However, this is seen as another big opportunity for Linfield to secure another trophy.

Blues boss Healy said: “It’s an opportunity the players should relish and one to look forward to as a final and chance for more silverware.

“Every time you play for Linfield, against whoever, is a big game.

“Crusaders games have always been tight, certainly since I’ve been here, so I would expect something similar on Tuesday.

“Any semi-finals or finals you reach you want to win and the players will be going in to challenge.”

Crusaders defender Sean Ward added: ““Both teams have a lot of quality so it will probably be the team that makes the fewest mistakes will be the one that comes out victorious.

“Our performances of late have been very encouraging so we go into the game with a lot of confidence and our form suggests we are capable of winning and retaining the trophy.”