Warren Feeney slams demands put on part-time players

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Linfield manager Warren Feeney says he is 'disgusted' by the demands put on part-time players as his side prepare to play their second Premiership game in two days.

Linfield manager Warren Feeney says the demands put on part-time players are "ridiculous" as his side prepare to play their second match in two days.

The Blues beat Ballinamallard on Saturday and could go top if they beat Crusaders at Seaview on Monday night.

"It disgusts me that part-time players are asked to play twice in two days.

"Crusaders had a rest day on Saturday - we had a four-hour round trip. Forty eight hours after a game is a recovery day but we are being asked to play."

Uefa rules prevent top-flight domestic club games clashing with Champions League or Europa League match nights, with fines in place for any breaches.

This makes it more difficult for midweek Irish League matches or cup ties to be scheduled or rescheduled without falling foul of the regulations.

"Players are coming back from injuries and it's hard on their bodies, plus this game is being played on an artificial surface and I have to look after my older players," said Feeney.

"I have to see who is ready and hopefully we can go on a run now after that disappointing defeat by Glenavon."

Crusaders manager Stephen Baxter
Stephen Baxter's side went top of the table by beating Institute

Speaking after his side's 3-2 win over Institute on Friday night, Crusaders manager Stephen Baxter concurred with his Windsor Park counterpart that it was "ludicrous that we can't play on a Tuesday or Wednesday night".

"We don't want to play on a Monday night but we just have to get on with it," said the Crues boss.

The north Belfast outfit top the league on goal difference and Baxter has a full squad to choose from, apart from the injured Paul Leeman, who has a broken arm.

Baxter admits to having "an embarrassment of riches" up front, with four strikers all playing well.

Jordan Owens came on as a substitute to score the winner against Institute after overcoming a bout of flu, while Timmy Adamson, Gary McCutcheon and Diarmuid O'Carroll are all showing good form.

"It's nice to be where we are but nothing is won or lost at this stage of the season so we'll just take each match as it comes and try to stay in or around the top four.

"Warren is cutting his teeth in management - he's brought in a few players and is still settling in.

"I haven't seen Linfield play yet this season but they will definitely be there or thereabouts too," added Baxter.

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