‘Ruthless’ Warren Feeney vows to bring glory days back to Windsor Park

New Linfield manager Warren Feeney pictured at Windsor Park on Tuesday
New Linfield manager Warren Feeney pictured at Windsor Park on Tuesday

New Linfield manager Warren Feeney has vowed to be “ruthless” as he bids to bring back the glory days to Windsor Park.

The former Northern Ireland striker has been handed a two-year contract after being named as David Jeffrey’s successor.

It is a massive challenge for the 33-year-old, who is embarking on his first managerial role following a spell as player-assistant boss at English Conference Premier club Salisbury City.

Feeney insists he is relishing the challenge ahead, and says he is ready to make some tough decisions to return Linfield to the top step of the Irish League.

“The biggest misconception about me is that I am easy-going,” he said during his first press conference on Tuesday.

“I have learned under some great managers. One of them said to me that if you give a player an inch, they will take a mile. I have never forgotten that.

“I wouldn’t come into this job if I didn’t know how to handle it and go about it.

“I will be ruthless.”

Feeney is under no illusions as he steps into the Linfield hot-seat.

He follows in the footsteps of legendary manager Jeffrey, who claimed 31 trophies during 17 years at Windsor Park.

Despite the size of the task facing the inexperienced Feeney, he is determined to remain at the helm for “years to come”.

“I can see myself being here for years – I want to bring success to Linfield,” he added.

“It is what you want to do and how you want to do it – that’s what I believe in.

“I want to be here forever. I am prepared for everything in life.

“I went across the water at 16, and I was inexperienced playing against full-timers. People will say the same me managing Linfield.”

And the former international striker – who earned 46 caps for Northern Ireland – insists he is ready for the pressure atmosphere associated with life at Linfield.

“I get out of bed in the morning and I think life is pressure – it’s how you deal with it,” he added.

“Having four kids running around my house is pressure as well.

“But I am well prepared and have done my research – I feel I am ready for this job. I put myself in for it, and I am 100 per cent focused.”

Feeney has named former Bolton and Blackburn defender Andy Todd – son of former England international defender Colin Todd – as his number two at Linfield, while Alfie Wylie will continue as coach.

“Andy Todd is my number two, and he comes here with a great pedigree in England. He is the son of Colin Todd who people will know well,” Feeney added.

“He has a great mentor in his father, and Andy didn’t hesitate when the opportunity came along. That is a massive thing when someone wants to buy into what you want to do.

“He has played in the Premier League, the Championship and he is a winner.

“And with Alfie’s experience here as well, it bodes well. Alfie knows the players, the club and has international mentality as well.

“So I have a great staff behind me.”

Feeney is also undecided on whether he will prolong his playing career.

“It is something I haven’t decided yet,” he added.

“I keep myself fit and it is something I still think about. But I can’t give an answer yet.

“It is hard doing both jobs, but it is something I will assess in the near future.”