IRISH LEAGUE: Linfield boss David Healy lauds Ross Gaynor following derby victory

Ross Gaynor celebrates his penalty
Ross Gaynor celebrates his penalty

Linfield manager David Healy believes he has a player for the big occasion in Ross Gaynor.

The 29-year-old was once more the tormentor in chief as the Blues roared to an impressive Danske Bank Premiership win over Big Two rivals Glentoran at Windsor Park.

For the second successive week, the former Cork City man grabbed a glorious double which helped keep the Blues on title track.

Substitute Aaron Burns got in on the scoring act as Alan Kernaghan’s team tumbled to their sixth defeat in nine outings. And, to compound matters they had defender Calum Birney dismissed eight minutes from time.

“He isn’t bad, is he?” said Healy when reflecting on Gaynor’s display.

“Ross is beginning to look the part. He is probably the only signing I’ve made, apart from a few other younger lads that I’ve brought in.

“Ross has really stepped up. His goal ratio is excellent. He got us up and running with the penalty. I’m not too sure about the stop, start shimmy malarkey, but he can put the them away.

“When he played for Cork last year, he was used at full back. Thankfully, we are quite comfortable in that area – we’ve got Matty Clarke and also Niall Quinn.

“But he has filled in on a number of positions -- and he’s done really well by chipping in with vital goals and that’s a bonus.”

Although the Blues slightly closed in on the Crues at the top, Healy insists there is a long way to go in the title race.

“The plan is to pick up as many points as we can,” he added. “We are certainly well in there. If we can gain the points I think we can gain in the coming weeks, hopefully it will be tighter (the league race) than what it is at the minute.

“We are still chipping away – it’s certainly do-able (catching the Crues). The players have great belief. There is still a long way to go, with eight games still to play.”