DAVID Healy used his first major set-back as manager of Linfield for motivation and plans to use Saturday’s defeat to Cliftonville in the Irish Cup final as the fuel in the fire for next season. 

Healy took over as manager of the Blues in October 2015 and lead his side to the Irish Cup final in his first year in charge. 

Goals from Kevin Braniff and Andy Hall saw Glenavon clinch the Cup on that occasion and Healy revealed that his runners-up medal proved the source of motivation needed the following year as the Windsor Park outfit claimed their first league success in five years and won the Irish Cup with a victory over Coleraine. 

“I reminded that players that when I lost that final against Glenavon, the silver medal that we got I left in the car,” he revealed. 

“I left in the car where I could see it on a daily basis or every other day that I was coming into Windsor to remind me that I was second best, a loser on the day and things like that

“I said to the players, people get motivated by different things. People get fired up by different things and ideas. I will do the same with this one. I will keep it in my car beside me. It will be in every single day that I come to Windsor Park and wherever else I go. 

“It reminds me that I finished second, we finished second and we need to do better. That will certainly be my motivation for the start of pre-season next year. Be better, make sure your squad is better. Hopefully the playing staff is better, and the outcome come the end of the season, hopefully in the end will be better.”

In the aftermath of the weekend defeat, Matthew Clarke and Jordan Stewart confirmed their departure from the club and Healy expects further business to take place in the weeks ahead before they return for pre-season. 

“I would imagine there are going to be two or three players that were involved today that will leave the football club,” he admitted. 

“There will be one or two different opportunity or options which will become available in June or early July before the start of the European trip. 

The players in there, I thank them as always for their continued effort and hard work. 40 weeks is a real slog, I think that was our 52nd game that we’ve played here. We’ve basically been in 11 months from the end of June and a lot of them have really emptied the tank and they are hurting in there.”