Linfield’s David Healy ignoring rivals’ outside ‘noise’ to focus on in-house work

Linfield manager David Healy. Pic by Pacemaker.
Linfield manager David Healy. Pic by Pacemaker.

David Healy is refusing to be rattled by the outside ‘noise’ as Linfield refocus the drive to retain the Danske Bank Premiership crown.

The Blues brushed aside Glenavon by 8-1 on Saturday to wipe out the frustration of the previous weekend’s scoreless draw with Dungannon Swifts at the same home venue.

The statement of intent by Healy’s men arrived at the end of a week in which ‘Big Two’ rivals Glentoran had Irish League transfer record bids of £60,000 rejected for Cliftonville’s Joe Gormley and Adam Lecky of Ballymena United.

With just five points dividing the top five clubs - and Linfield sitting second between leaders Crusaders and the Glens - Healy reaffirmed his faith in internal hard work over any role as external ‘cheerleader’.

“We use terms like ‘siege mentality’ within the dressing room,” said Healy. “People can get restless by the media circus but I’ll not be pressurised into bringing anyone into the club we do not think can make a difference.

“It’s not about a tit-for-tat reaction to other clubs, we’ve brought players in January and the summer and previous windows.

“We can only do what we can do inside, I cannot do anything about the outside noise.

“We try to keep our head down and work as hard as we can.

“People are now talking about the transfer window in Northern Ireland but if we do not have one more player in through the door at Windsor Park by the end of it I’ll be absolutely delighted with the squad.

“Of course we are still looking, I look in September, October, November and December - you are always waiting on a text or phone call from a scout or agent.

“But I said to the boys during the week that this is what we have and I’m more than happy with the players and attitude in the dressing room.

“I’ve huge belief in the players here, who knows if that means we are going to be successful but what we have is a great camaraderie and that closeness is a credit to the players.

“I don’t want to be a cheerleader and people have said before I should maybe be ‘out there’ more but that’s not my style.

“I want to be a leader during the week and be there for the players.

“You cannot improve a player on a Saturday, that’s impossible - you are not going to coach to improve a player during a game.

“It’s down to the work, even over months in advance, to identify his weaknesses at that point, not during a match.

“If I’m interested in a player I will go directly to the manager of that club and make an inquiry about his availability, then the chairmen can talk.

“There will be no public bidding...it will be behind closed doors.”

Healy singled out the first and final goals for special praise on Saturday.

“For 1-0, Stephen Fallon cleared the ball in his own penalty area and covered 80 or 90 yards to get the crucial opening goal,” said Healy. “Then, in the 92nd minute, Jimmy Callacher was running probably not even thinking he would get a touch but his desire was rewarded.”