David Healy wants Linfield to avoid being overwhelmed by Celtic

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David Healy aims to avoid being 'annihilated' by Celtic

Linfield manager David Healy wants his team to avoid getting "annihilated" when they face Celtic on Wednesday.

He believes the Champions League second qualifying round second-leg tie will be the "toughest game" his players have taken part in.

Healy will set his side out to try to contain the home side at Celtic Park.

Following last Friday's 2-0 defeat in the first leg, he says believes his players didn't get enough praise for their efforts.

The game was marred by a series of incidents, and Healy said the performance of his players in trying to close the visitors out was overshadowed by a minority within the Linfield support.

"[With] the efforts that the club goes to, it's hugely disappointing we still have a few idiots who want to bring the club to the attention of other people," Healy said.

Celtic striker Leigh Griffiths
Celtic striker Leigh Griffiths had a bottle thrown at him during Celtic's game against Linfield at Windsor Park

"We tried our best to make it a football contest on the pitch, so as the manager I was hugely disappointed with the minority of a few idiots that the players didn't come out of the game with a lot more praise.

"The disappointing thing with Friday was that the players didn't get enough praise for their work ethic and the amount of effort they put into the game.

"Sometimes no matter what things you do as a club, you can't prevent a few idiots who follow the club. We've made giant strides over the years to try to make sure that we are talking about the things that happen on the pitch.

"It's hugely important tomorrow night that that thousand or so supporters who are going to be there behave in an impeccable manner, enjoy the game and the occasion and we come away talking about hopefully another positive Linfield performance."

Healy has no concerns over potential incidents in the crowd tomorrow and did not want to comment on Leigh Griffiths' actions of tying the scarf to the post at Windsor Park.

Griffiths has been charged with "provoking spectators" by European football's governing body, Uefa, while Celtic have also been charged with "improper conduct of the team" after they collected five bookings.

Griffiths was one of the players booked, after holding up play when a bottle was thrown at him as he tried to take a corner kick.

Linfield have been charged by Uefa with the "throwing of objects" and a "field invasion", after some fans tried to gain entry to the pitch after the match. European football's governing body Uefa will deal with the case on 20 July, the day after the return leg in Glasgow.

Linfield players training
The Linfield players got a feel for Celtic Park during a training session on Tuesday

Healy will send his side out to be disciplined and defensively sound, as he tries to find a way to be competitive against the Scottish champions.

"We've seen some of the results and performances of the other [Scottish Premiership] clubs at Celtic Park," Healy said.

"We don't want to be lambs to the slaughter. We'll be positive when we have possession, but we'll also need to be organised and disciplined, which the players to their great credit were last Friday night. For Celtic to not score a goal for 70 minutes, with the quality they have, was a huge credit to the players.

"If we play the way we do, going straight at times in the Irish League, Celtic would have hammered us.

"We've got to be realistic the level we're playing at, we're part-time footballers. Did we show them too much respect? I don't think so, they were just better than us."

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