Mullen keen for his Newry boys to give Feeney a baptism of fire
Darren Mullen has admitted that he was happy to work under the radar this week as most of the headlines focused on new Ards boss Warren Feeney.
Although the Newry City chief reckons the former Northern Ireland striker is a welcoming addition to the Danske Bank Premiership, he intends to give him a baptism of fire when the clubs clash in a relegation scrap at the Bangor Fuels Arena today.
Feeney was parachuted in on Tuesday to replace Colin Nixon, who was sacked after Ards' home defeat by Institute eight days ago.
Having won only three times in 29 starts, the North Down club are staring down the barrel of relegation - both Newry and Ards have been cut adrift at the bottom.
But Feeney approaches his debut in the knowledge that three points from today's game will take his new team off the bottom.
"It's a massive match for both clubs," admitted Mullen. "All the media attention has been about Ards this week, but it doesn't really impact on me or on us.
"Our preparation remained the same. We obviously had Ards watched last week, but I'm sure things may be tweaked to the way Warren wants them to play.
"There is no disguising the fact that this is huge for both clubs.
"It's a great opportunity for us to put a bit of daylight between ourselves and Ards. It's also an opportunity for them to pull it back and make it into a dogfight.
"We have to be beating teams in and around us in the league table - I would rather beat Ards than Linfield, that's the reality of it.
"It's more important in terms of taking points off our rivals."