THURSDAY marks 12 months to the day since Warren Feeney was sacked as manager of Newport County AFC and he will be relishing his first opportunity to get one over on his former club this evening.

Several hundred gallons of water have flowed under the bridge since September 28 last year when the Northern Irishman was fired the morning after an agonising defeat at Grimsby Town.

That 1-0 loss, courtesy of a late penalty conceded by Dan Butler, left County bottom of the table with just six points from their first nine games.

A year on, the Exiles are eighth in League Two with 15 points from nine games after a comfortable 1-0 won over Grimsby and they head to Crawley Town tonight on a high under new manager Michael Flynn.

Feeney, who was out of work for the best part of eight months, is now second in command at the Checkatrade.com Stadium under manager Harry Kewell.

The pair are firm friends from their early days at Leeds United in the late 1990s and it’s great to see Feeney get another crack at life in League Two.

I for one hope he gets a good reception from the travelling County fans tonight, though that mind depend on the result.

He certainly felt that the Exiles board acted too swiftly in bringing his reign to an end last season and, given the mess in which his successor Graham Westley left the club, hindsight suggests he could have been given more time to turn things around at Rodney Parade.

County were three points adrift at the bottom (with a game in hand) when Feeney got the chop.

And when Westley was put out of his misery in March they were 11 points from safety (with a game in hand).

Flynn is rightly riding high after masterminding the Great Escape in May and has managed to use that as a platform to target the top half of the table this season.

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But Feeney (above) never got the chance to build on saving the club from relegation after he took over from John Sheridan in January 2016 with a run of six wins in his first 11 games that was almost as impressive as Flynn’s seven wins in 12 last season.

The fact that survival was secured in less dramatic terms and that he ended the 2015-2016 campaign with a winless run of 11 games ultimately proved costly for Feeney.

And that same hangover from the season before has seen League Two strugglers Chesterfield and Port Vale part company with Gary Caldwell and Michael Brown respectively already this season – something that saddens Flynn.

“The way football is going now is worrying, really,” lamented the Exiles boss last week.

“Gary had a little bit longer at Chesterfield but I thought they were a decent team when they came here, especially in the first half.

“And Michael Brown, I don’t know what he’s supposed to do. When he took over at the end of last season they were as good as down anyway.

“And I think if you’re going to back your manager over the summer and let him sign players during the window then why not give him a little bit more time?

“Nothing is won or lost in September and I’m sure those two clubs will pick up because they’ve both come down from League One and they won’t be bad.

“It’s crazy but I think the hangover from last season has played a big part in it.

“But if they’re thinking that at the end of last season then why not do it at the end of the season?

“It’s sad because these are livelihoods on the line and these people in charge are playing Russian roulette.

“I’m not sure they’d do it with their own family lives but they are in charge and they pay the wages so you’ve just got to get on with it.”

Two more former County managers are on the hunt for new jobs with Justin Edinburgh sacked by Northampton Town on transfer deadline day and Sheridan leaving Oldham Athletic yesterday.

The Stretford-born sourpuss and the Latics are like the Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor of football and it surely won’t be long until they are back together again.

In the meantime, Sheridan could be a perfect fit for Chesterfield having won the League Two title with the Spireites in 2011.

Mercifully Flynn, a former Gillingham player, is not amongst the bookies favourites to be the next Gills manager after they fired Ady Pennock yesterday.

But, with the average manager’s job about as secure as Donald Trump’s comb-over, nobody can taking anything for granted in modern football.