DAVID HEALY, the Linfield manager, has joked that he is ready to deploy a 6-4-0 against Celtic after watching his side toil against Hearts – as news of Celtic's demolition of Shamrock Rovers crossed the border.

While foolish to read too much into a friendly, one suspects that Brendan Rodgers will be presented with a substantial dossier of defensive weaknesses after the Blues were regularly carved open by Ian Cathro’s side.

Harry Cochrane, Jamie Walker, Isma Goncalves and Cole Stockton all found the net, cancelling out a fine opener by Jamie Mulgrew and – allied with Celtic hammering Shamrock Rovers 9-0 in Dublin yesterday – this was an ominous afternoon for the hosts.

“I did hear the Celtic score against Shamrock, someone told me the good news,” laughed Healy. “We had someone at the game and they have sent me through the match report – I told him to delete it after the first couple of goals. Maybe I’m going to play a six-four-zero.

“No, I’m going to ask the players to enjoy it. It’s a huge, huge occasion. We will probably never, ever play Celtic again in the second qualifying round of the Champions League. Enjoy the occasion because you might never get it again.”

The Hoops were represented in Belfast by chief scout John McGlynn, with the former Hearts manager casting an analytical eye over a Linfield side which included veteran goalkeeper Roy Carroll and ex-Rangers man Andrew Mitchell.

The Celtic scout saw the hosts claim the lead after 11 minutes when Linfield captain Jamie Mulgrew picked up a loose ball 25 yards from goal and, afforded an ocean of space, unleashed a superb low drive beyond Jack Hamilton.

Another effort from distance restored parity, with Harry Cochrane’s speculative shot taking a lucky ricochet and nestling in the net. While there was an element of fortune about his goal, it was a deserved reward for a classy display by the 16-year-old.

“Harry is a talented kid, absolutely,” said Cathro. “It is important that we see young players come through and getting the right balance. We want to support the young players and give them the opportunities when the time is right.

“We always want to be calm with these things; however, I am not scared by the fact a player is 16 years of age. He is a talent and we want to nurture him.”

With strains of "only one Jamie Walker" emanating from the 250-strong travelling Hearts support quashing fears that his rejection of a new deal would foster resentment, it was the winger who completed the turnaround prior to the break, heading past Roy Carroll from a Don Cowie corner.

Goncalves utilised his strength to spin away from Joshua Robinson before keeping his cool to clip a neat finish beyond Carroll to stretch Hearts’ lead after the break before Cole Stockton added gloss to the scoreline in the dying embers.

Linfield: Carroll (Deane 70); M Clarke, Haughey (Casement 70), Stafford (R Clarke. 67), Mitchell; J Stewart (Smyth 45), Garrett, Mulgrew, Lowry, Millar (Burns 67); Waterworth (Quinn 45). Subs not used:, Robinson, Glendenning, C Stewart, Fallon

Hearts: Hamilton; Hughes (Petkov 80), Berra, Nowak; M Smith (Brandon 67), Cowie (Buaben 45), Cochrane (Martin 60), Grzelak (Smith-Brown 67); Walker (Currie 74), Lafferty (Sammon 80), Goncalves (Stockton 74). Subs not used: Noring, Beith, McGhee, Henderson.

Att: 1854