Linfield manager David Healy had mixed emotions after his side’s 1-0 win against Ballymena United in the Danske Bank Premiership at the Showgrounds on Friday night.
The Blues boss was pleased with the three points that means his side are 12 points clear of second placed Ballymena with only four games left but he was far from pleased with the abuse former Northern Ireland keeper Roy Carroll received from the United fans.
“It was disappointing tonight because some of their supporters let themselves down, which is disappointing because Ballymena is a good club. They’re a well supported club,” Healy told the BBC in a post match interview.
“Some of the things that were sang tonight, it is not for football. It is talked about. It has been talked about in England and Scotland for a number of months.
“It wasn’t aimed at me. It was a little bit. It was at Roy Carroll. Singing about a lad who has represented his country with so much charisma.
“A lot of Ballymena’s fans are Northern Ireland fans, and to sing that tonight, I don’t understand that.”
And Healy says his players will fight to the very end of the season and that his players deserve more credit for the season thay have had.
“The club doesn’t expect praise, the club moves on. But the players deserve some praise. They read the negative comments.
“I don’t need it, but the players have earned it. That’s something like 25 clean sheets this season, we have conceded eight or nine goals away from home this season which is remarkable.
“I have fought tooth and nail since I was 15 or 16 to prove people wrong. I had a decent career, I was a decent player. I had an opportunity to play at the clubs I played at, and to play international football which I loved. So I was fortunate.
“But my players deserve credit. I read a lot, and I hear a lot, about other clubs doing this and that. We have the best team in the league this season, in my eyes.
“The table doesn’t lie, the goals we scored don’t lie, the clean sheets we had don’t lie.
“I said it after the League Cup final when people said ‘lucky Linfield’, but you can’t be lucky keeping 25 clean sheets. The players achieved that.”
Linfield can complete their title campaign next Saturday when they take on at Windsor Park.
“We have the opportunity to go and win the league next Saturday and that’s what we will set out to do,” Healy added.
“The win against Ballymena was a big one. A hard-earned win. The players we have, and the standard they have given us this season has been incredible.
“I am extremely proud of every single one of them. Ballymena threw everything at us and couldn’t score against us. That’s a big credit to the players in the dressing room.
“Ballymena have achieved a lot this season, and we knew we had to dig deep. We withstood the pressure.”
And Ballymena manager David Jeffrey says second spot in the league is their aim after Friday night’s result.
“Top six and a crack at Europe. Before tonight we need nine points in these game.
“That is what we have to do - end of story and nothing has changed.
“We have big games coming up and we want to crack Europe.”