Belfast Telegraph

Warren Feeney has thirst to add to Linfield's firepower

By Stuart McKinley

Warren Feeney has revealed how he has failed to land not one, but two strikers before tonight's transfer deadline.

The Linfield boss is shocked that what he branded a "fantastic offer" for Warrenpoint Town's Daniel Hughes wasn't accepted by the club, while a bizarre scenario regarding flights for a player's wife saw a move for another front man fall through.

The Blues boss will continue to search for fresh talent up front before the local transfer deadline at midnight tonight as he has only Andy Waterworth and Guy Bates offering any experience in the attacking area.

Feeney tried to get Hughes during the January window and has made a couple of offers this summer, but the possibility of a deal coming off appears unlikely.

"We put what I thought was a fantastic offer to Warrenpoint and it's been turned down," said Feeney.

"We had gone in for him at the start of the month; that was turned down. We went back with something that I thought was hard to refuse, but he's not our player and we've had no joy.

"I think that Daniel is a quality player and while I am very happy with the two strikers I have, you always want to strengthen.

"With no disrespect to anyone, I think that the move could benefit Daniel. He is a player who I admire greatly and I believe that he could play at a higher level."

The deal for German striker Thiemo-Jerome Kialka with the demanding spouse won't be going through either.

"I thought I had a deal for one to come in, but the deal has collapsed because players wanted their wives on flights and it's something I can't do," said Feeney.

"I want to sign players, not their wife so that deal is dead, but there is still a little bit of time to bring someone in.

"I want to add to the squad and if I can get the right players then I will do that, but we aren't under pressure with the deadline because we are looking at free agents."

Feeney and his Premiership counterparts are in something of a rush though as with JBE League Cup second round fixtures to play tonight, any real transfer business will have to be mostly taken care of early in the day, with the possibility of tying up loose ends before the window shuts.

The Blues face Championship 2 side Glebe Rangers and it is likely that the Linfield line-up will have a different look to that which won 3-0 against Portadown on Saturday.

Feeney, however, will be wary of a repeat of last season's second round exit at the hands of Ballyclare Comrades as he strives to win his first piece of silverware at Windsor Park.

"It's a cup competition and it could be a chance to look at a few players who are in and around the first-team squad to play as well," said Feeney.

"I want to win the cup, but I've got to look after the players.

"It's a long, long season so it's something that I will be looking at.

"It is important to do that. You ask them, they don't want to come off, but you've got to look after them."

Of all the Premiership clubs, only Ballymena United and Portadown don't have home advantage and both will be on their guard to avoid an upset.

Crusaders are at home, but face a tricky tie against in-form Championship side Knockbreda, who have scored an impressive tally of 22 goals in just six games this season.

JBE League Cup fixtures (7.45pm unless stated): Dollingstown v H&W Welders (6:30pm), Ballinamallard United v Banbridge Town, Carrick Rangers v Lurgan Celtic, Coleraine v Ballyclare Comrades, Crusaders v Knockbreda, Dergview v Ards, Glentoran v PSNI, Institute v Sport & Leisure Swifts, Larne v Portadown, Limavady United v Bangor, Linfield v Glebe Rangers, Moyola Park v Ballymena United. All matches will be played to a finish.

Belfast Telegraph


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