Albert Watson drawing on Larne ‘hunger’ in defence of Shield against Linfield

Larne defender Albert Watson has ruled out a revenge mission against Linfield tonight - but admits the pain of losing last season’s Irish Cup final will act as extra motivation in the Co Antrim Shield showdown.

Tuesday, 11th January 2022, 2:48 am

The season’s first piece of silverware will be settled at Seaview between holders Larne and a Linfield side who defeated the Inver Park outfit in May’s Irish Cup showpiece.

Final success last year in the Co Antrim Shield secured a first senior prize for Larne in over 30 years.

Now a third final appearance within 13 months that included European experience points to the progress Larne have banked on off significant investment into the club.

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Larne’s Albert Watson. Pic by Pacemaker.

“It was good to get our first trophy under our belt with the Co Antrim led us into the Irish Cup final and we all know we didn’t do ourselves justice,” said Watson on Larne’s official YouTube channel. “It’s not a revenge’s more to prove to ourselves, we owe ourselves one.

“We froze in that final and didn’t do ourselves justice or anyone to do with Larne justice.”

He continued: “If you don’t have that hunger and the basics to start with you’re not winning games...that hunger’s massive going into Tuesday.”

Watson also said: “Without putting undue pressure on us, we just want to go and give a good account.

“Obviously they are going to be favourites - they’re (league) champions and top of the league.”

Watson was quick to pay respect to Linfield but keen to embrace the final challenge given “we know how good they are but we know how good we can be”.

Linfield boss David Healy told the official club website “there’s no point putting ourselves in a final if going to take this lightly, we certainly won’t”.

”The players selected will hopefully go and do the club proud,” said Healy. “We do have huge, huge support...they’ll be expecting a show.

”Hopefully on Tuesday night the performance levels will be good and, more importantly, the result will be good.

”They (Larne) will not want to give it up and rightly so...we will be taking it serious and be as strong as we certainly can be.

“Our players will be charged and ready to go.”

Linfield have confirmed a loan deal for 19-year-old striker Chris McKee to join from Rangers.

In the Premiership tonight, Warrenpoint Town will host Dungannon Swifts.


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