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Welling United manager Warren Feeney says club can avoid relegation from National League South

Welling boss Warren Feeney believes there is enough talent in his squad to avoid relegation.

The Wings sit rock bottom of National League South with just six games left to play.

Welling manager Warren Feeney remains positive despite a tough run-in. Picture: Dave Budden
Welling manager Warren Feeney remains positive despite a tough run-in. Picture: Dave Budden

They’re only below Billericay on goal difference but Welling’s run-in is horrendously tough with games against five sides in the top nine to come, including matches against the front two of Maidstone and Dorking Wanderers.

“The big thing is belief and confidence,” stressed Feeney, whose side were beaten 4-2 by promotion hopefuls Ebbsfleet last weekend. “I said to the players that if they’d played like that last week, no disrespect to Tonbridge, they’d have probably got a result.

“But it’s easy to raise your game against the so-called big boys in the league.

“I think there’s enough there, I think we had a couple of injuries and if they show me that determination then we will get results. We’ve got to look at it, the teams we’re playing is a tough run-in but there are games we can get victories from. We’ve got to pick those boys up and go again.

“There’s pressure no matter where you are in football nowadays. I said to the players that it was a free hit, go and enjoy it. I want them to play with a smile on their face until the end of the season and if they do that then we’ll win more games.”

Feeney has been dealt an incredibly tough task at Park View Road. He replaced former England caretaker manager Peter Taylor last month but has won just one of his four matches in charge so far.

Despite the results, Feeney is enjoying his time at Welling and believes that his players need to enjoy the final six games in order to stand the best possible chance of success.

“I love it,” said 41-year-old Feeney. “They’ve made me feel very welcome. I didn’t hesitate when I got the phone call. It’s a big challenge for me but it’s one I’m not going to shy away from.

“I was at Salisbury before in the Conference so I know what it’s like but I’m not one who of these who has played at a good level of football and is a big-time Charlie. I’m just a boy off a street in Belfast.

“When you are down there it’s hard but when you get that wee bit of joy it’s great. We’ve got to keep the boys going, you can’t get down, you’ve got to stay level-headed because next week there’s a chance to put that right.

“We’ve got to make everything enjoyable but get our points across and encourage them. Players know that they’ve made mistakes but we can’t be too hard on them because we are where we are for a reason.

“We’ve got to try and turn it the other way, to give them the belief to be better and for parts of the game on Saturday you could clearly see that we’ve done that.

“It’s going to be tough. We’re down where we are for a reason, like the other teams around us.

Tom Derry puts Welling ahead against Ebbsfleet on Saturday. Picture: Dave Budden
Tom Derry puts Welling ahead against Ebbsfleet on Saturday. Picture: Dave Budden

“It’s hard to win football games but we’ve got to stay in there, pick them up, get a couple of injured players back and get them going. Hopefully we pick up the results to get us where we want to be.”

Feeney enjoyed a successful professional career with the likes of Bournemouth, Luton and Plymouth.

But he wants to keep the instructions simple and knows the Wings need to play the percentages to stand the best possible chance of avoiding relegation to the Isthmian Premier.

“If you put balls in the box, you score goals,” added Feeney. “Football is a simple game, it’s hard when people try and complicate it. It’s not how I want to play, I want to play football right.

“But at the end of the day, it’s needs must and I thought the way we competed (against Ebbsfleet), we put balls in the box and we made people defend.

“If you look at the majority of goals, they are mistakes or set plays. But you’ve got to have that desire to head the ball or go and score a goal. You can do set plays until the rain comes in but if you don’t want to put your head on it… my boys have to be ruthless in both boxes.”

Welling visit Eastbourne on Good Friday before hosting Dorking Wanderers on Easter Monday.

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