Warren Feeney could be heading for Windsor Park exit

Linfield manager Warren Feeney
Linfield manager Warren Feeney

Warren Feeney could well take charge of Linfield on Saturday for the the last time.

The Blues face a Danske Premiership showdown with Cliftonville at Solitude with a dark cloud hovering as the 34-year-old has been strongly linked with a possible move to Newport County.

It is understood new County boss John Sheridan is keen to again link up with the former Northern Ireland international.

County sacked manager Terry Butcher earlier this week - he recorded only one win in 12 outings - which led to Sheridan’s appointment on Thursday.

Feeney is now on the ex-Republic of Ireland international’s wish list to be his number two at Rodney Parade.

It would certainly be a shock to the system to everyone at Linfield and the club’s huge fan base.

Even though he finished his debut season without a trophy, Feeney has guided the Blues to the top of the Premiership table - they are four points clear of title holders Crusaders - having tasted defeat only once in nine starts in the current campaign.

With such a massive game against the Reds on the horizon, the club were reluctant to officially comment on the speculation of their manager.

However, it is thought the Blues will do their utmost to hold on to Feeney. A source said: “Warren is under contract until the end of the season.

“He is doing a great job, having guided the team to the top of the table and, naturally, we would be reluctant to see him leave mid-season.

“The team is making positive strides so we have to act in the best interests of the club.”

Former Plymouth Argyle manager Sheridan (51), however, is keen to get down to work at Newport - a club that is marooned at the foot of League Two, having picked up only five points from nine starts.

Although he will have Byron Anthony and Michael Flynn with him in the dugout for Saturday’s home game against mid-table Exeter, Sheridan has yet to confirm his backroom staff, but Feeney looks to be his top choice: they both have background from their Plymouth days.

Before joining Linfield in April last year, succeeding the legendary David Jeffrey, Feeney - who has strong links in Wales having played for both Cardiff City and Swansea Town - was assistant at non-league Salisbury City.

His current contract at Linfield is due to expire at the end of the season.

The fact that Feeney’s family still reside in the Newport area might be another deciding factor if he opts to leave Windsor Park to take up this position, but we will have to see what happens.