David Healy pleased as Linfield march on despite new challenges

It may be a season like no other but some things haven’t changed as Linfield close in on more honours.

Friday, 21st May 2021, 5:02 pm

The Irish Cup final is usually the season finale, but this season, like so much else, there is a new normal.

No fans, reduced teams, and the competition played over three weeks have produced a very different feel this year.

The acquisition of the obligatory cup final suit is even up for debate as the Blues eye their first Irish Cup final win since 2017!

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Linfield boss David Healy

“To be honest everything about football is strange at the moment,” said boss David Healy “Our lads had to get changed in Glenavon’s social area on Tuesday.

“The boys are basically having to wipe themselves down with a towel and travel home.

“We played Loughgall in the quarter-finals and hadn’t seen any of their games so I was scratching round teams that they had played recently like Annagh and Banbridge to try and come up with some idea how Loughgall are going to play.

“We played the quarters last Tuesday, the semi this Tuesday and now have the final on Friday night. That’s strange. The players are in there asking for suits!

“That’s normal procedure in a Cup final where you have three or four weeks to prepare and it’s a big day out. Your family are there, people who are abroad come back and go to the Irish Cup final because it’s usually the last game of the season.”

Healy has welcomed the return or some normality as up to 1,000 fans will be in Mourneview Park tonight, although he was quick to praise the ingenuity of some of the Blues supporters in recent weeks.

“Our fans have a way of saying or doing things and we came in and saw the banners driving into Mourneview: Linfield ladder loyal. Fair play to them,” he said.

“Some were on ladders at Loughgall and I imagine some of those on the ladders tonight will look to get tickets on Friday.

“For the players I would imagine some of their families who have supported them through a very strange year will have the opportunity to go and watch them in a Cup final.”

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