Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 2 August 2014

Linfield boss Feeney is targeting more Euro success

Confident: Warren Feeney
Confident: Warren Feeney

Linfield have reached the top of Cave Hill – now they must conquer Slieve Donard.

The Blues faithful swept out of Mourneview Park on Tuesday night on a wave of relief after Warren Feeney's side edged past B36 Torshavn and into the second qualifying round of the Europa League.

There was plenty of nervous tension in the stands as the Faroe Islands side smelt blood after drilling in an equaliser.

However, the Blues survived a few late scares to win 3-2 on aggregate and book a date with AIK Solna.

Those battles will be a considerable step up in class for Linfield.

While there is no disputing the character and resilience of Feeney's side, they remain a work in progress and they are far from the finished article.

And Swedish giants AIK, who are currently third in their league, are expected to bring more firepower to Lurgan including Finnish international striker Eero Markkanen, who has hit the target six times this season.

The first leg will be at Mourneview Park on Thursday, July 17 before Linfield arrive at the 51,000 seater Friends Arena a week later.

"I want us to give a good account of ourselves," said Feeney. "I've had great games for Northern Ireland and we have played some great sides. People write you off but it's 11 v 11.

"There was pressure on us this week and there was the danger of complacency creeping in but now we are through the pressure is back on our opponents.

"Over the two legs they will be favourites twice but I'm just delighted we have got that chance to play against them. It's a chance for the boys to go and play in a national stadium against some classy players and people who are stars in their Swedish league."

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