Irish Premiership: David Healy demands Linfield passion against champions

Crusaders defender Colin Coates battles with Linfield's Andrew Waterworth during the last game between the clubs in April
Crusaders have finished well ahead of runners-up Linfield in the last two Premiership campaign

Linfield manager David Healy has demanded "desire and passion" from his players in Saturday's Premiership game against champions Crusaders at Seaview.

The Crues lead the table by two points after two sets of fixtures and Linfield go into the game after Wednesday's fortunate 1-1 draw against Coleraine.

"If we turn up with the same sort of mental attitude on Saturday, we'll get beaten," said the Blues boss.

"If we can't get up for this game, it's pointless being at this club."

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Linfield and Coleraine drew 1-1 at Windsor Park

Asked about what went wrong during Linfield's performance on Wednesday when they needed a controversial late corner award to help them snatch a point, Healy made no attempt to underplay his side's shortcomings.

"Our desire, our passion. Our lack of invention going forward and the amount of chances we created.

"The disappointing thing was that Coleraine worked harder than us.

"This weekend, Seaview is a tough place to go. They are a good side. They are champions and are in form and they have got good players.

"I'll have to make the players are lifted and that we are ready and that I can pick an 11 to go there and hopefully get a result."

Heatley confident Crues will beat Blues

Paul Heatley, who has bagged three goals in Crusaders' opening 6-0 and 4-1 wins over Ballymena United and Carrick Rangers, says Saturday's game will be a "battle" but is still confident that the champions will earn all three points.

"We have a good record against them but we know it's going to be feisty. There will be a good atmosphere with the two sets of supporters," adds Heatley.

"They had a tough game on Wednesday and I'm sure their manager will have something to say to them.

"But as long as we focus and we turn up and put in the performance that we know we can, I think we'll go and win the game."

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Reds secure Solitude win over Glens

Saturday's games also include Glenavon's meeting with Cliftonville at Mourneview Park as two teams with title ambitions lock horns.

Both sides have four points from their opening two games with the Lurgan Blues fighting back from 3-0 to draw at Ballymena on Wednesday and Cliftonville beating Glentoran 2-0 on the same night.

Glentoran will be hoping to regroup from their Solitude defeat as they face a Carrick Rangers side who have conceded eight goals in their opening two games against Glenavon and Crusaders.

Carrick boss Kieran Harding felt the midweek 4-1 scoreline against the champions was "very harsh" with youngster Seanna Foster sent off when when the game was still in the balance at 2-1.

"It's been a tough start for us but we're gradually building and we're getting somewhere," said Harding.

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Niall Currie's Ards win 2-1 at Dungannon Swifts

Ards will aim to maintain their unbeaten start to the campaign against Portadown while Ballinamallard United will be looking to get off the mark against Ballymena United at Ferney Park.

Ballinamallard suffered a second straight 2-1 defeat at Portadown in midweek while Ballymena United surrendered their three-goal advantage as they were held by Glenavon.

After the postponement of their opening fixture against Portadown, Coleraine's young side impressed on Wednesday night at Windsor Park and Oran Kearney will hope they can fashion a win against pointless Dungannon Swifts at Stangmore Park.

There will be live coverage of Saturday's full programme of games on BBC Radio Ulster's Sportsound and the BBC Sport website from 14:00 BST.

Danske Bank Irish Premiership - 13 August - 15:00 BST kick-offs
ArdsvPortadown
Ballinamallard UnitedvBallymena United
CrusadersvLinfield
Dungannon SwiftsvColeraine
GlenavonvCliftonville
GlentoranvCarrick Rangers

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