Warren Feeney: Emirates FA Cup tie is a 'free game' and a challenge 

Thursday 14 Jan 2016
Newport County boss Warren Feeney

Newport County play host to Blackburn Rovers on Monday evening and new boss Warren Feeney is urging his squad to use the tie as a "free game."

The Welsh club are currently fighting for survival in League Two, so the distraction of an Emirates FA Cup tie against a Championship club will be used by Feeney to help his side into shape.

Newport County v Blackburn Rovers

The Emirates FA Cup
Third Round Proper
7.15pm, Monday 18 January 2016
Rodney Parade, Newport
Winners receive £67,500
Live on S4C

Feeney only took charge of County last week following the departure of John Sheridan to Oldham Athletic, just days after the initial tie with Blackburn was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch.

But the game is now set to go ahead and with a fourth round tie against Oxford United on offer for the winners, Feeney wants his squad to forget their league campaign and just play.

"It's a free game and a challenge against a team in the Championship," admits the former Leeds United and AFC Bournemouth player. 

"I want to win the game but the league is my priority because we've got another massive one on Saturday. 

"But I've told the players to go and enjoy it and I look forward to a fantastic game." 

The Northern Irishman was previously assistant boss at the club, before Sheridan’s departure led to last week’s appointment.

He got off to a perfect start at the weekend by leading the Exiles to a 1-0 victory over York City to put them six points clear of the League Two relegation spots.

And he’s keen to conserve what Sheridan had started at the club since taking over in October.

"I don't want to change a lot of things because John left a fantastic morale," revealed Feeney. 

"He lifted them from where they were and I just thought I wasn't going to change too much, just tweak here and there. 

"John's gone and we've got to move forward."

By FA Staff