Belfast Telegraph

Two games in three days concerns Linfield boss Warren Feeney

Back to back games ridiculous: Blues boss

By Gareth Cauldwell

Linfield have the chance to go top of the Danske Bank Premiership when they take on league leaders Crusaders this evening.

The Crues hit the summit with Friday's defeat of Institute and Linfield stayed within a point after their comfortable victory over Ballinamallard at Ferney Park, where Stephen Lowry opened the scoring and an Aaron Burns brace rendered John Currie's late response as nothing more than a mere consolation for the hosts.

Blues boss Warren Feeney has admitted concerns about his side playing two games in three days – especially given that Crusaders have an extra day of recovery.

"It's hard to ask part-time players to play two games in three days," said Feeney.

"Obviously, Crusaders got an extra day's rest; we've had a four-hour round trip, players coming back from injuries, it's hard on their bodies and to go and play again on a Monday is just ridiculous.

"I'm going to have to go in and see who is ready for it. It's hard, I've been there myself in England, I know what it's like, 48 hours after a game is your recovery period and we have to go and play players on astroturf.

"I have to look after my older players, you can't expect them to play in two days and you want to go to Crusaders and lay down a marker."

Feeney had wanted a response from his side following the league defeat to Glenavon last week and he got that from his charges both on Wednesday night against Dundela in the County Antrim Shield and again on Saturday against Ballinamallard.

Linfield dominated the first half and went in two goals to the good at the interval thanks to goals from midfield duo Lowry and Burns.

And Burns slotted home his second early in the second half before Currie pulled one back.

"We got a reaction from last week, we got it on Wednesday night and we got it today. The boys started well, confidence is high at the moment and players coming back is giving me a great headache to have.

"I thought we scored great goals, especially from midfield, and the pleasing thing was that I couldn't single out anyone today, it was a team performance," he added.

And he hopes that the Blues can now go on and string a run of results together.

"Hopefully we can go on a run. I've been pleased with the way we've been.

Yes last Saturday was a let down but you get those games and we lacked a wee bit of energy but we move on to Monday," commented Feeney.

Ballinamallard manager Whitey Anderson accepted his side were beaten by a better side on the day, although he was disappointed with the manner of the goals he saw his team ship.

"I have no problem with being honest, Linfield were very strong, very hungry right from the first whistle," he said.

"They were right in our faces and never gave us time to play at all.

"We couldn't get in the game at all in the first half. They were very competitive, they were sharp-looking and we had bother retaining the ball.

"From my point of view, as a manager, you look at what went wrong with the goals we conceded.

"The three goals were scored by the two centre midfielders making runs from midfield. I'll analyse that when I see the video to see exactly who was responsible," he said.

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph