Linfield boss David Healy will be hoping for continued forward momentum this weekend - but needs only cast his mind back a few months for evidence of the threat on offer from visiting Warrenpoint Town.
Stephen McDonnell’s Town side stand as one of only four clubs to have left Windsor Park with anything in the current league campaign following November’s 1-1 draw.
The Blues prepare to tackle Warrenpoint bolstered by an unbeaten run stretching back nine fixtures but Healy accepts the need to maintain focus.
“They deserve a lot of credit for how they’ve gone about their business this season and for where they are at the minute,” said Healy on the club’s official website. “They have shown that, not only in the draw against us at Windsor Park but in other results this season, beating the likes of Coleraine, Glenavon and Cliftonville.
“We certainly will not be taking the game lightly, it will be a tough game for us.”
Warrenpoint picked up a point from the last city visit to halt a run of back-to-back Premiership defeats and that boost in confidence sparked the start of a five-match unbeaten sequence.
Recent form has also offered cause for optimism as Warrenpoint can call on happy away-day memories across January in league and cup at, respectively, Glenavon and Institute.
“Last week’s cup win was a positive result but it will be a very tough match at Windsor Park,” said Warrenpoint captain Simon Kelly on the club’s official website, in response to the Irish Cup victory. “However, we will be hoping for another positive result like we got on our last visit.
“It’s brilliant to get through to the next round of the cup and, hopefully, we can go on a cup run this season.
“It was great to get the new signings in too and I felt all three (Lee Duffy, Jarad Thompson and Hernany Macedo Marques) had good debuts.”
Linfield have been linked with a loan move for Northern Ireland under 21s international Kyle McClean from St Johnstone.
Healy has confirmed loan deals involving two current club names - with Jonathan Smith off to Ards and Eamon Scannell extending his Warrenpoint Town stay.
“Eamon’s made a good impression there in the first half of the season and I’m happy that he should continue,” said Healy on the club website. “Jonathan hasn’t had too many first-team opportunities this season, so will benefit greatly from the increased opportunities.”