Belfast Telegraph

No buts Warren Feeney, take lessons from Jose Mourinho

By Steven Beacom

Warren Feeney is an up and at 'em type of character.

Never one to take a backward step as a player, he's been the same as a manager.

The day he was unveiled as Linfield manager and successor to the legendary David Jeffrey 11 months ago, he made it clear there would be no settling in period.

Feeney declared that his intention was to win the Irish League and Irish Cup in his first season.

The thing is, unlike most managers in his position, he did not add a BUT, such as "but this is my first season in charge so it will take time to get things right and just the way I want them at the club..."

In football speak, that's called buying yourself time.

Feeney wasn't interested in playing those games, which is to be admired in a world full of them, BUT during his managerial career he will learn that it can be a powerful weapon.

Even the best in the business use it.

Didn't Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho continually point out last season that it wasn't his team when defeats for the Blues ruined chances of silverware in his first campaign back at the Bridge?

If it's good enough for the Special One...

When outlining what he wanted at the start of his reign, Feeney might just have been too honest for his own good.

Now he has to pull his troops together after a difficult couple of weeks.

Last Saturday, Linfield were knocked out of the Irish Cup by Portadown... the week before, the Blues lost to Ronnie McFall's side in the league leaving them trailing impressive table toppers Crusaders by six points with eight games left.

Cliftonville have already won the League Cup and County Antrim Shield, so unless there is a dramatic fight back from the Blues in the title race, Feeney will be left trophyless come May.

By and large the Windsor Park faithful are behind him, though I've heard from reliable sources in the stands that some rumblings have started in the past fortnight.

What frustrated fans should note is that after taking over from Linfield's version of Sir Alex Ferguson, Feeno hasn't been David Moyes has he? Or Louis van Gaal for that matter.

True, the former Northern Ireland striker may not have set the world alight, but the rookie boss is doing alright and has shown potential that he can be a success at a club he dearly loves.

Next season is the big one for him. Linfield fans - and the board - must be patient.

So should Warren. No point putting pressure on himself. There's enough out there who will pile it on for him.

Sometimes as a boss you have to take one step back to jump forward. Feeney will get there... it might just take a little longer than he thought.

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