Linfield boss Healy keen to make up for Irish Cup heartache

Linfield have beaten champions Crusaders three times this season
Linfield have beaten champions Crusaders three times this season

Linfield manager David Healy says winning the Irish Cup would make up for the most disappointing day of his managerial career.

The Blues were favourites to deliver Healy's first silverware as Blues boss last May when they faced Glenavon in the 2016 final at Windsor Park.

Linfield lost 2-0 that day but are through to this season's semi-finals where they face Dungannon Swifts.

"I was hugely disappointed after that final. I was hurting, " said Healy.

"But sometimes you have to take a few disappointments along the way.

"I had plenty as a player, I have had a few as a manager. It makes the winning feeling sweeter."

Linfield reached the semi-finals by beating Premiership champions and current leaders Crusaders 2-0 at Seaview on Saturday.

The south Belfast club have not won the Irish Cup since doing the double in 2012.

How they stand at the top with eight matches left
How they stand at the top with eight matches left

As well as ending Crusaders' double ambitions, it raised the hopes of Linfield supporters that the league title race might not be done and dusted.

Linfield, runners-up to the Crues for the last two seasons, are seven points behind Stephen Baxter's pacesetters with eight matches left.

This Saturday Crusaders are at home to lowly Carrick Rangers, with Linfield hosting third-placed Cliftonville two days later.

But Northern Ireland's record goalscorer Healy played down his team's Premiership title prospects, saying: "Crusaders are in the driving seat - it would take a hell of a collapse from them for us to reel them in in the league."

Healy got his first trophy as a manager in last month's County Antrim Shield final.

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