Manager’s programme notes
Posted : 1st March 2023
Today we will face Coleraine in the first of three huge games between the teams, before the season end. We will not be thinking about the upcoming BetMcLean Cup final or the post-split league game at the Showgrounds, as all our focus is on today’s vitally important league game.
Our two previous league games this season have ended scoreless, so we know how close and hard-fought this game is likely to be. Under Oran Kearney and William Murphy, Coleraine are hard to beat and hard to score against and despite their defeat at Seaview last week, I’m expecting the usual formidable challenge from a talented Coleraine team who have a lot to play for, over the remaining weeks of their season.
We were pleased with the 2-0 win in last week’s game against Carrick but we have significant ground to make up on the league leaders, Larne and with ourselves and the three other Belfast clubs and Coleraine tightly bunched together in the league table, it’s sure to be a fiercely competitive end to the season, with every club believing they can achieve success in the coming weeks.
I was delighted that Stephen Fallon agreed a two year contract extension, to take effect from the end of the season.
Stephen will turn 26 next week and although it’s been frustrating for him that he hasn’t been able to play since injury struck in November, I’ve no doubt that he will make a major contribution to the club over the duration of this contract extension.
He’s been working hard under the supervision of our medical team, to return to fitness and we are looking forward to having him available again, when the time is right for him.
Robbie McDaid and Ryan McKay both suffered injuries in the first half of last week’s game against Carrick Rangers.
Robbie went for an MRI scan on the knee injury he sustained in the first minute of the game and he was due to see the knee specialist, to ascertain the damage and treatment required, on the road to recovery.
Ryan was making his first starting appearance for Linfield and with family members proudly in attendance, it was really unfortunate that he sustained the stomach injury which resulted in him being admitted to hospital for several days of assessment and treatment.
Unfortunately, we don’t expect to have Robbie and Ryan available for some time.
We were delighted to welcome Jimmy Callacher back to the team last week, after a long injury lay-off but Niall Quinn and Cameron Palmer who missed last week’s game, may be unavailable again today.
As always, we will need and appreciate the patience and vocal encouragement of all of our supporters today, to help drive us on to what we all hope will be a positive result, in what’s sure to be a really tough game today.