IRISH LEAGUE: Lurgan Blues primed to hit back against Linfield

Johnny Tuffey
Johnny Tuffey

Jonny Tuffey believes his team will bounce back from last week’s defeat when Linfield arrive at Mourneview Park.

Following an impressive first-half performance, Glenavon were hit by a triple-goal whammy by Cliftonville which left any hopes of pocketing points in tatters.

“This is now a massive game for both ourselves and Linfield,” said Tuffey. “We were well in last week’s game and you certainly could not have seen a result like coming at half-time.

“Anything that could go wrong, went wrong in the second half. When you are on top against Cliftonville at Solitude you need to take your chances - and we didn't. But it’s all about showing a response - and I’ve no doubt we can do that against Linfield.”

David Healy’s boys, who sit four points adrift of table-topping Crusaders, simply can’t afford to fall further behind, even at this relatively early stage.

The former Northern Ireland striker was happy with his team’s contribution in last week’s showdown with Crusaders - which finished scoreless.

“People asked questions about my team . . . if they have the mental strength for a title challenge,” said Healy.

"I think we answered those questions. I thought we just edged the game and were marginally the better team. I was pleased with our performance.

“We must now take the same intensity and commitment and passion into what will be another difficult game against a Glenavon side that showed their potential a few weeks ago when they defeated Ballymena by five goals."