Linfield boss David Healy will reject the idea that time proves a great healer as the Blues turn to cup commitments for quickfire consolation in the aftermath of Saturday’s league defeat.
A 1-0 loss to Coleraine marked a setback for Linfield in pursuit of a rise up the Danske Bank Premiership standings as defending league champions.
A summer European adventure has left Linfield trailing title rivals in the Premiership fixture programme but Healy will look on a domestic knockout tie on Tuesday with Cliftonville as an opportunity to get back on track.
“The good thing is after a defeat or a win you want to play,” said Healy following Saturday’s defeat in Coleraine. “Sometimes a quick turnaround can be helpful so we’ve got that opportunity on Tuesday in the quarter-final of the League Cup.
“We don’t have to wait a week – we have an opportunity against an in-form Cliftonville side that we need to get our teeth into.
“We need to perform better than we did today.
“Paddy McLaughlin is doing a good job, Cliftonville are a good side with threats from all over the pitch.
“It’s an opportunity to progress in a cup that we want to be successful in.
“It gave us the platform last year to go on and win a league.”
And Coleraine boss Oran Kearney is also keen to push forward on multiple fronts.
“It’s a competition we want to do well in,” he said. “The key thing for us is that, thankfully, we’re starting to get a few players back.
“The key thing on Tuesday is maybe freshen things up in some areas to make sure we can cope with a three-game week.
“I’ve said to the boys the League Cup hasn’t been as good to us in the years that I’ve been here, bar one final, and it’d be great to get a run.
“They’re (Dundela) flying and beat a pretty-much full-strength Larne, so that gives you an idea of the qualities they have.
“We know we need a big performance.”
BETMCLEAN LEAGUE CUP FIXTURES: Ballymena United v Crusaders, Dundela v Coleraine, Linfield v Cliftonville, Newry City AFC v Institute.