Belfast Telegraph

Kearns deal won't be easy: Feeno

By Graham Luney

Warren Feeney has confirmed Linfield's interest in signing Daniel Kearns but he feels it will be a difficult deal to get over the line.

The former Northern Ireland Under-19 international, who switched his allegiance to the Republic of Ireland, is available to be snapped up after being released by Carlisle United.

Kearns, who netted a hat-trick against the Blues in a Setanta Sports Cup game for Dundalk at Windsor Park four years ago, would be an impressive addition to the league leaders' squad - if a deal can be finalised.

"He's a player we like and have spoken to but it's going to be a tough deal to do and it's nowhere near done," said Linfield boss Feeney.

"Daniel's a fantastic player who would attract the interest of many clubs but some of the figures people are saying we are offering him are ridiculous and it's now just a wait and see with him."

Feeney is also focusing on Saturday's Danske Bank Premiership blockbuster battle with Cliftonville at Solitude.

After nine matches, the Blues hold a four-point lead over champions Crusaders and a rare victory at the north-Belfast venue would fire them eights points ahead of the Reds.

"I'm looking forward to another big game," added Feeney. "The team have done well so far but we will keep our feet on the ground.

"Apart from the one slip-up against Crusaders which was disappointing, the boys have shown what they are capable of and I knew it was in them.

"Cliftonville are a top side under Gerard Lyttle who has done an excellent job and I'm sure they will be keen to add to their medal collection.

"I certainly do regard them as one of our title rivals because of the quality and hunger they have.

"It's early days in the season but I expect Cliftonville to stay in the chase while other sides like Glenavon, Portadown and even Coleraine are looking increasingly strong.

"Oran (Kearney) has done a phenomenal job so far and I'm delighted for him.

"They have laid down a marker for other sides looking to push into the top six."

Linfield haven't beaten Cliftonville in the league since New Year's Day 2013, though there was a County Antrim Shield semi-final success in October that year.

"Our recent record has been poor but that doesn't concern me. I'm not worried about it because it will end one day, hopefully on Saturday," added Feeney. "These records only last so long and the past doesn't concern me. You're only as good as your last game."

Feeney hopes to have Aaron Burns fit for selection after he missed the Glenavon clash through illness, while Jamie Mulgrew is shaking off the effects of a dead leg.

Neil Brittain has swapped the rugby ball for a football after being appointed Head of Communications at the Irish Football Association.

Neil was Communications Manager at Ulster Rugby but will now join the Irish FA team just as the Northern Ireland side are close to realising their Euro 2016 qualification dream.

Belfast Telegraph


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