Linfield formation flexibility key to David Healy’s points pursuit as Warrenpoint Town come to Windsor Park

Linfield boss David Healy. Pic by Pacemaker.
Linfield boss David Healy. Pic by Pacemaker.

Linfield boss David Healy is playing the numbers game in search of a winning formula.

European progress has left the defending domestic champions trailing the league’s leading lights in terms of points and games.

The Blues host Warrenpoint Town on Tuesday in one rearranged date aiming for a second Windsor Park win inside four days.

Coleraine and Crusaders share top spot in the Danske Bank Premiership table on 26 points from 12 games apiece, one ahead of Cliftonville - with Healy’s men having won seven and lost two to date.

Saturday’s success over Ballymena United arrived off a three-man defence and Healy considers tactical flexibility a key aspect of the current arsenal.

“We changed our shape again and it’s a credit to the players that they can move in and out of formations and still produce,” said Healy. “The pleasing thing now is we have more options if someone is not doing it.

“At times we have been without two or three match-winners so the players take immense plaudits to put ourselves, although still playing catch-up, in or around the top teams.

“As a manager I don’t go in and say to the players we need to win this or that but there are the supporters’ demands and club’s standards.

“What I do say is we need to win games of football to give ourselves the opportunity, come cup finals or the end of the season, for silverware.

“I put demands on the players to try and win a football match then, hopefully, in the long run we will be in or amongst the other top teams competing when the trophies get handed out.

“Warrenpoint have caused us immense problems in the past, especially at Windsor Park.

“We played a back three at times previously against Ballymena and even earlier this season against Carrick, who also play a back three.

“It’s something the players have bought into, allowing us to switch even when behind in games at times and in need of a change.

“More importantly, we’ve got the players - it’s not just about putting square pegs into round holes.

“It’s important for any team to be able to have that tactical flexibility.

“Ballymena have done fantastically well playing a back three, Carrick got promoted playing a back three and Larne, also with a back three, have been praised for how they play.

“Sometimes you need to mix and match to deal with whatever is forced upon you.

“Needs must - when you’ve got good players who buy into it and are hungry to play then it’s not always about formations.”