Manager’s programme notes

Posted : 15th September 2018

Today we will welcome a Dungannon Swifts team who are in an unaccustomed position near the foot of the table. However, we will not be fooled by this misleading early league table, as we believe it's only a matter of time before they get their season up and running, with positive results that will move them into a more comfortable position in the league table. We need to make sure their upturn in fortunes does not start at our expense today.

It will be a special day for our first team coach Darren Murphy who will come up against his former club today and he in particular, will know only too well the real danger that Dungannon will pose today.

The previous home game against Ards was a frustrating occasion, as we just couldn't get the breakthrough and the visitors defended stubbornly throughout to come away with a point, after what for us was a disappointing scoreless draw.

Last week at Warrenpoint we got the early goal and that gave us a solid platform to go on and turn in a highly assured display. On the night we were worthy winners, after a very pleasing 5-0 win at what is usually a tough venue. It's always especially satisfying when goals come from across the team and we showed that we possess a genuine goal threat, with goals coming from Daniel Kearns, Michael O'Connor, Andrew Mitchell and Andrew Waterworth, as well as the early own goal.

We are now clear of suspensions, as Jamie Mulgrew will return to the squad today after his recent red card at Solitude. On the injury front Lorcan Forde is back in light training and hopefully, will turn out for the Swifts soon to step up his comeback. Mark Haughey remains unavailable and we are hopeful of having him back in contention in a month or so. Ryan McGivern is making good progress on the recovery trail and hopefully, will return to action in mid October. Cameron Stewart will take longer to recover and we are anticipating he will be several months away from a return.

Ryan Strain is back in training again and could be available to return to action in a couple of weeks. We've agreed to let him go on loan to Ards until the January transfer window and this will be a good opportunity for young Ryan to benefit from the increased game time opportunities that this move will provide.

Competition for places in our squad is really intense and our new signings have all settled into their new surroundings very comfortably. I must give a special mention to Josh Robinson, Chris Casement and Andrew Mitchell who've grabbed the first team opportunities that have come their way this season and turned in very assured displays. Jordan Stewart has responded positively to the recent transfer listing and with the window now closed, he is focused on earning a place in our team.

Our supporters were very patient and understanding in our previous home game against Ards and there was a great turn out down at Warrenpoint last week. We will need our supporters with us and behind us, in what's sure to be another tough encounter today.
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