Devastated Linfield skipper Andy Waterworth focuses on Glentoran battle
Linfield captain Andy Waterworth has described the loss of manager Warren Feeney as 'devastating'.
The striker, however, believes that stand-in management duo Andy Todd and Alfie Wylie will have an easy task in getting the team ready for tomorrow's Big Two battle with Glentoran at Windsor Park.
The Blues squad was rocked when Feeney informed them on Tuesday night of his decision to leave the club in order to take the job as assistant manager of Newport County.
While the Linfield hierarchy begin the search for a replacement, on-pitch matters are now focussed on staying at the top of the Danske Bank Premiership by beating the Glens.
"I'm devastated that Warren has gone, but I totally understand his decision," said Waterworth.
"I had a very good relationship with him, he's been very good for my career and I think my thoughts echo those of the whole squad.
"We have a good changing room, we are flying high in the league and it's a big blow to the club to lose him."
Feeney's parting message to the Linfield fans was that the team can still go on to win the league title without him.
His former assistant Todd and first-team coach Wylie have been charged with the responsibility of keeping them at the forefront of the race for the Gibson Cup - at least for the time being - and Waterworth expects the team to respond strongly after losing the manager, because of who is lining up in opposition.
"There is never any motivation needed for a Big Two game," said Waterworth, who has experienced life on both sides.
"Historically we're the two biggest clubs in the country and when we're battling it out it is great to be a part of it.
"I love the atmosphere.
"After losing last Saturday I think if they could pick any game to bounce back it would be away to Linfield because of everything that it brings and that will make it a big game. If we are to stay top we have to win it."