Linfield have to put disappointment behind them says Matthew Clarke

Matthew Clarke says Linfield have to put the disappointment of losing at Coleraine behind them as they head to Larne for tonight’s Samuel Gelston’s Whiskey Irish Cup last 16 clash.

By Steven Crawford
Friday, 4th February 2022, 1:00 pm

The Blues not only lost the points at The Showgrounds last week, but also top spot in the Danske Bank Premiership to rivals Glentoran following the defeat.

However, experienced campaigner Clarke, who made his 300th appearance for the club last Saturday, says they can’t dwell on it as they bid to progress to the last eight of the competition they won last season.

“Last week was very hard to take,” he told the club website.

Matthew Clarke says David Healy’s men have to put last week’s disappointment behind them

“We all are very aware that our performance was below par and we got the beating we deserved from Coleraine.

“It is important we put that behind us now for what’s a very important match at Inver Park tomorrow night.”

Linfield defeated Larne in last season’s final to complete a league and cup double, with the Invermen gaining some revenge this term beating the Blues to win the County Antrim Shield.

Clarke though doesn’t think those previous encounters will count for much this time around.

“To be honest, I don’t think it’ll be on our minds too much,” said the full back.

“We all know what the Irish Cup means to everyone inside and outside of the club. We don’t want to give it up after winning it last season.

“The Shield final has no bearing for us as we’ll be treating this as another game.

“We’ll be concentrating on our own game to try and put in a strong performance on the night. Hopefully, we can get a big result.”

It was a busy January for the Blues with five players arriving in the transfer window, and Clarke feels the new additions have give the squad a boost.

“The new lads have all settled in very well and they look to have brought further quality to the squad,” he said.

“I think the new signings coming in definitely gave us all a lift. Competition for places is healthy and they’ll help ensure that’s the case.”