Belfast Telegraph

Warren Feeney all fired up for Linfield's title dream

By Graham Luney

When Linfield fans stroll around Windsor Park tomorrow they will see an impressive new stadium taking shape.

The East Stand, with its different coloured seats, is pretty on the eye and we trust that on closer inspection it doesn't have any cracks in it.

There are exciting new structures to admire but something could go missing at the international venue. It hasn't disappeared yet but it may not be around for long.

It's patience. Linfield fans have not seen their side win the league title or Irish Cup in three years.

In his first season in charge after the departure of legendary boss David Jeffrey, Warren Feeney was unable to grasp silverware.

Failure is not an option at Linfield and the pressure really is on the former Northern Ireland striker to get his hands on a major prize this campaign.

"We're aiming for the league title - second place is not good enough at Windsor, second place is nowhere," admitted Feeney.

"To get the first trophy is a big one but the league is everyone's number one target. I know Linfield are a club that demand success but it's not something I worry about.

"They want success but you've got to remember they haven't won the league for a reason. In the past, 95 per cent of players would have ran to Linfield but that's not happening anymore. We are certainly not guaranteed to win anything but we will keep progressing and are going for the big prizes.

"It's still going to be a big ask for us as other teams always want to beat Linfield but we'll give it our best shot.

"We let commanding positions slip last season and we've got to start finishing off teams. It's our aim to give it a good go. Everyone, including Louis van Gaal at Manchester United, needs time to turn a team around and Crusaders have now set the standard we have to reach. This is a very demanding job but it's one I always wanted to bring fresh ideas to and enjoy.

"Football is still my life. I always said I would only come home to manage Linfield and that's what happened, so I will accept the pressure. This is a special club and I've always said I'll do it my way."

Linfield yesterday added 18-year-old right back Seanan Foster to their squad on a two-year contract. Foster had been with Sheffield Wednesday until the end of June.

Feeney added: "I've learned a lot from last season but I am surprised at how many other players don't want to come and play for this great club just because a few pounds are on offer elsewhere. The boys who have come in have been terrific. They are at this club because they are good enough and we just need to be careful with how we manage Mark Stafford because of his groin injury.

"Danny Wallace will have a great career, Davy Kee has been phenomenal and big Batesy (Guy Bates) will score goals."

Irish League referees have handed over a bumper cheque to their chosen charity after a massive fundraising campaign last season. The officials presented a cheque worth £11,183.42 to representatives of SANDS, the charity providing support for bereaved parents and their families.

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph