David Healy: Manager warns Linfield against complacency after Glentoran win

O'Connor and Stewart were both on target against the Glens
O'Connor and Stewart were both on target against the Glens

Linfield manager David Healy has insisted he has no time for "coasters" in his squad after Monday's victory over Belfast rivals Glentoran.

Healy was full of praise for his players for their Windsor Park performance, but said he could "smell complacency" at the break.

The Blues let a 2-0 half-time lead slip before replying with further goals to win 4-2 against the 10-man Glens.

"The players know we don't do coasters in our dressing room," Healy said.

"If they aren't pulling their weight and aren't giving us the performance we need to win games then they'll soon find themselves out of the team and someone else will come in."

'Players didn't heed the warning'

Healy predicted Glens boss Gary Smyth would get a reaction from his players
Healy predicted Glens boss Gary Smyth would get a reaction from his players

A Jordan Stewart penalty and a Calum Birney own goal put the Blues ahead, but Healy was not happy with how his side conceded goals early in the second half from Curtis Allen and Robbie McDaid.

"We dominated the first half and were disappointed not to be more than two goals ahead," the former Northern Ireland striker continued.

"I could smell complacency at half-time and I warned our players that Glentoran would get a response through having Gary Smyth as manager.

"I was disappointed, therefore, that we didn't heed the warning and were on the back foot after 45 minutes of dominance."

'We've got good options'

Healy left Michael O'Connor out of the starting line-up for the derby and brought Andy Waterworth back in, despite the former Dundalk striker having scored both goals in the 2-0 win away to Newry City last week.

However, O'Connor came off the bench to score the fourth goal while fellow substitute Daniel Kearns set Chris Casement up for the vital third.

"It was a difficult decision to leave O'Connor on the bench after he had scored a couple, but Andy has been terrific for us in the last eight or nine weeks," Healy continued.

"But Michael came on and scored an important goal for us and Daniel also made a big impact, which is what you want from your substitutes.

"I'm delighted to have good options from the bench now as sometimes in the past I wasn't sure."

Credit for Casement

Chris Casement has impressed Healy this season
Chris Casement has impressed Healy this season

The Linfield manager singled out full-back Casement for specific praise after his goal had restored the Blues' lead.

"I was delighted for Chris to get his goal as he has been massive for us this season," he added.

"He took a lot of criticism last season for some of his performances and I decided to take him out of the firing line.

"But he got in again during pre-season and has been one of our best players since then. He goes under the radar a bit, but all credit to him,"

Glentoran defender Joe Crowe, who fouled Josh Robinson for Linfield's penalty, was sent off with his side 3-2 down for two yellow cards.

The victory restored Linfield's six-point lead over Ballymena United at the top of the Irish Premiership table.

Top Stories