David Healy insists 'there's not going to be any knee-jerk reaction' after Linfield's Premiership title setback

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
Linfield manager David Healy insists his side won’t panic after last weekend’s draw against Glenavon left defending champions Larne in pole position for Gibson Cup glory with 10 games remaining of a thrilling title race.

While the Inver Reds extended their unbeaten league run to 19 matches by defeating Loughgall 2-0 on Friday, Healy’s men left Mourneview Park with only a point the following day after Aaron Prendergast’s 96th minute strike, which means Tiernan Lynch’s men are now one point ahead of the Blues with Cliftonville just two further back in third.

Linfield have the chance to leapfrog their rivals once again when they travel to Coleraine, who have lost seven of their last eight league matches and dropped into the bottom-half on goal difference, this evening.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Their advantage at the summit has been wiped away over the previous two matches with last month’s 2-1 home defeat to Dungannon Swifts followed up by a draw in Lurgan, but Healy says there won’t be any “knee-jerk reaction” to the setback.

Linfield manager David Healy. PIC: David Maginnis/Pacemaker PressLinfield manager David Healy. PIC: David Maginnis/Pacemaker Press
Linfield manager David Healy. PIC: David Maginnis/Pacemaker Press

"Certainly the buffer we had before the Dungannon game was nice, but it was never going to be the be-all and end-all,” he said. "It was always going to take us still continuing to try and win games, so drawing is disappointing of course, but there's not going to be any knee-jerk reaction in terms of where we want to get to because there are still 10 games we have to play for.

"It would be nice to be top of course, but sometimes when you're in and around where you need to be and where we want to be...I think everybody would agree that it's basically down to the three teams now.

"We have Cliftonville to play and Larne, Cliftonville and others to play in the split, and we need to make sure that when it does get to the split that we have enough about us to go and compete until the end of the season."

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Tonight’s trip to the Showgrounds will be followed up by a crunch clash at Solitude against Jim Magilton’s Reds before three matches against current bottom-half opposition prior to the split in Ballymena United, Newry City and Carrick Rangers.

"People call them (games against the likes of Larne and Cliftonville) six-pointers and whatever, but it comes down to days like this (against Glenavon)...we still have Coleraine to play and I've no doubt they'll be fighting for their lives against us,” added Healy. "We've Carrick away, Newry, Ballymena again who are fighting and scraping.

"We've the Cliftonville game which is a key game between two teams that are challenging, but when you're playing a team of Glenavon's calibre we should have found a way, especially when we scored the goal (in the 88th minute), to see the game out."