LINFIELD manager David Healy believes Tuesday night’s Toals County Antrim Shield clash with Glentoran gives the Blues the opportunity to put Saturday’s suprise defeat to Ards behind them.
A Mark Kelly double at Clandeboye Park inflicted Linfield’s first defeat of the season, as Ards claimed a shock 2-1 win. But Linfield have an immediate opportunity to bounce back, facing a depleted Glentoran at Windsor Park on Tuesday night, ahead of Saturday’s trip to Dungannon.
“I think it’s a good thing for us that we’re playing Glentoran on Tuesday night,” said Healy.
“As far as I’m concerned there isn’t a bigger game in the country than the Big Two and it doesn’t matter if it’s in the league, the cup or the shield, it’s still a massive game when the Big Two go at it.
“I’ll be taking it very seriously and I’m sure Glentoran will be too.
“I will be doing everything I can to make sure our performance is better and our attitude is better.
“I believe we have that extra bit of quality that can put us into the next round and give us a lift ahead of next Saturday.”
Reflecting on Saturday’s defeat in Bangor, Healy refused to overreact.
He explained, “There’s no point in overreacting to one defeat. There’s always going to be bumps along the way and this is one.
“That’s not to say I’m not disappointed with this performance, because I am, but I don’t get carried away with victories, so I’ll not get carried away with this defeat.
“In all honesty, I’m scratching my head wondering how we put that level of performance in. We have so much quality in this side and we displayed none of it against Ards. Our defending for their two goals was pathetic.”
Ards star Mark Kelly hopes that Saturday’s win will be a turning points in the Red & Blues’ season.
The double goal-scorer said, “We’ve had a couple of really hard weeks with the defeats to Institute and Warrenpoint. It’s easy to let those sorts of results get to you but Colin Nixon told us at training that we can compete with anyone in this league and not to lose faith in ourselves.
“You could see that today, because from the first kick we believed we could win that game.”
Reflecting on his 71st minute winning goal, the former Ballyclare Comrades forward said, “Colin asked me to be more direct. So when the ball came to me, I decided to drive towards goal and commit the defender. That worked out and I found myself in front of goal, so I just swung my left boot at it and luckily it went in!”