IRISH LEAGUE: Linfield boss David Healy demands big finish to season

David Healy wants his side to be even more ruthless.
David Healy wants his side to be even more ruthless.

David Healy is calling on his Linfield side to be more ruthless as they bid to overhaul Crusaders in the race for the League title.

Many outsiders would have thought the Blues showed their ruthless side at home to Glenavon on Tuesday night.

They dominated from the first whistle and had the three points in the bag at the break.

Aaron Burns slotted home a penalty, after Andrew Waterworth was fouled by keeper Jonathan Tuffey, and Mark Haughey headed in before a fine finish from Paul Smyth.

But Healy was disappointed by the performance of his side in the second half, and has called on them to develop their ruthless side.

“The most important thing was we won the game,” he said.

“When you go in 3-0 up at half time it can be a bit of a non-event in the second half.

“We did okay in the first half, but some sloppiness crept into our game in the second half, which disappointed me towards the end.

“There was misplaced passes, poor runs and poor retention of the ball, which is disappointing.

“I had a wee pop at the players after the game because if we are going to be winners we have to be ruthless.

“Fair play to the players though, we are going toe-to-toe with Crusaders, but it’s out of our hands what happens.”

Healy knows it will be another big test at Coleraine on Saturday, especially as his side cannot afford any slip ups.

“It’s going to be a big test for us against Coleraine, but hopefully having a wee pop at the players after the game will get a reaction out of them.

“Coleraine are a good side and have proved to be a bit of a nemesis for us this season.

“We know any slip ups will mean the end of the league title for this season, our goal is to be in there, we know what is expected of us.”

Healy may be without the services of influential midfielder Jamie Mulgrew, who was forced off against Glenavon after a challenge from Aaron Canning, which angered the Blues boss.

“I’m hoping it’s nothing serious with Jamie, I thought it was a poor challenge, which wasn’t punished by the referee for some unknown reason,” he said.

“I look at the rules, and I know the referees know the rules, but anything straight down the back is a card of some sort.

“So I had to take Jamie off because of that, it was disappointing, but what disappointed me more was the player doesn’t get punished for it and then five minutes later he is booked for another hefty challenge on Paul Smyth.”

Oran Kearney was disappointed to see his side’s long unbeaten run come to an end at Crusaders in midweek.

But Coleraine also have a big carrot in front of them with the Bannsiders knowing a point secures a return to European football.

“We thought we did enough to keep the unbeaten run going, but it just wasn’t to be unfortunately,” he said.

“But we know what we have to do to achieve our goal and we will be determined to go and do that.”