Belfast Telegraph

Warren Feeney calls for Linfield to draw on Kewell's influence

By Stuart McKinley

Warren Feeney wants his Linfield players to reap the benefits of him having friends in high places.

The Blues boss had his former Leeds United team-mate Harry Kewell as a guest in Belfast this week and the ex-Australian international took part in a training session with the Linfield team.

And he could well be back soon to help assist in the Blues' battle to regain possession of the Irish League title.

"Harry has his own academy in Australia, as well as that he wants to do other things in football and he wanted to see the club as well," Feeney explained.

"He came and had a look at training one night, joined in another night and a few players were asking advice and he took them through some things, like showing the wide players when to come in and when not to come in.

"He would like to make it a regular thing, but we will see how that develops.

"He is a Champions League winner, has played in World Cups, so he is somebody that is worth listening too.

"I think the players here have a great opportunity to learn from him and from my assistant Andy Todd, who played at the highest level in the Premier League too.

"People like that have a lot of advice to give, but it's up to the players how much of that they take on board."

Feeney and his players have come in for some heavy criticism this season, despite the fact that they would have been level on points with Cliftonville and Portadown at the top of the table if they'd held on to beat Glentoran last weekend.

They even seem to have got over their Windsor Park blues, having beaten Dungannon Swifts 4-0 before the 2-2 draw in the Big Two battle.

This afternoon they are away to Warrenpoint Town and with only one defeat on their travels this season - way back on the opening day of the campaign against Portadown - they have a chance to build on the work that has been done in recent weeks, with Feeney happy with the way things are going, just six months after taking over from David Jeffrey.

"I am very pleased with the way things are going. To be only two points off the lead at this stage tells me that we are doing things the right way," said Feeney.

"A lot of people wrote us off, even before the season started, but we have closed ranks and we're not letting others put pressure on us.

"I am very chuffed with the progress that we are making as well.

"You can't change things overnight, but you set your own standards and we are working towards them.

"I look at Ross Clarke as an example. He has been in the first-team squad for a couple of years, last season he played in fits and starts and never really got a run of matches.

"This season he is almost a regular and I am very pleased with what he has done and the work that he has put into improving his game."

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