IRISH LEAGUE: Linfield boss David Healy up for Ballymena United tussle

Linfield's manager David Healy
Linfield's manager David Healy
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Linfield manager David Healy expects a ding-dong battle at Windsor Park on Saturday as his side face Ballymena United in the Danske Bank Premier League.

The Sky Blues - under former Blues boss David Jeffrey - are flying high after wins against Glentoran and Coleraine in recent days.

United fought back from 2-0 down to the Glens last weekend to win 3-2 with the last kick of the match, while they dispatched Coleraine 3-0 in the semi-final of the League Cup on Tuesday night.

There is a never say die attitude at the Showgrounds these days under Jeffrey and Healy is looking forward to locking horns with the United boss this weekend.

“I am looking forward to it. They will be coming here full of confidence, but we will also be going into the game full of confidence as we have players in good form and the squad are in a good place, so hopefully come five o’clock on Saturday we will have the three points tucked away,” he added.

The Blues lie five points behind league leaders Crusaders before tomorrow’s matches and Healy says confidence is growing at the National Stadium.

“There is a good buzz about the place. All the players are working hard and even the players that are not starting are working very hard during the week.

“All the players know they have to work hard because they have to be ready if they are needed and to be fair they have all bought in to that.

“It is not about one person, or the 11 who start, it is about the squad.

“We have a good squad and they are backing each other and more importantly they are backing it up on the pitch by winning games,” said Healy to

And Healy says - no matter how good the squad is - he will be searching for players to strengthen their bid to catch Crusaders and claim the league title.

“You are always looking for players who fit into the team shape and the way we want to play but Linfield is not an easy club to come and play for.

“Some people have come here with big names and they have left with their tail between their legs.

“Somwtimes it is not an easy call for a player to play for Linfield. There is pressure here and maybe they would rather go somewhere to get an easier time at a smaller club,” added Healy.

And United boss David Jeffrey is staying calm after Tuesday night’s 3-0 win over Coleraine and he wanted to emphasise the importance of keeping his players feet on the ground.

“It is about baby steps, we are still not getting carried away,” said Jeffrey

“In terms of learning, it’s to continue the work hard but have the belief and mental strength. It was only a couple of weeks ago we got a battering by Dungannon Swifts, when it was 4-1 and, but for Ross Glendinning, could have been seven or eight. But they responded with a great result over Portadown, at the Oval and against Coleraine. Last year over the season we had 40 points but 36 at this stage, but there is work to be done.”