Manager’s programme notes

Posted : 22nd December 2018

Today we will face a huge challenge from a strong Glenavon team that I saw win comfortably against Coleraine at Mourneview Park last weekend.

They are serious contenders in what’s looking like being a wide open and highly competitive league title race and they will come here full of confidence and belief that they can kick on from that impressive 4-0 result against Coleraine live on TV last Friday.

We were delighted with our performance in our 4-1 win against Crusaders in our last home league game and we will be looking to maintain that level of consistency, to build up momentum going into this crucial run of fixtures over the busy Christmas holiday period.

We followed up the win against Crusaders with a hard-fought but deserved extra-time win against Dungannon in the semi-final of the League Cup and we can now look forward to a Windsor Park League Cup final against Ballymena United live on Sky Sports on February 16.

While that game will be a great occasion for everyone at the club, it’s very much on the back burner, as we now turn our attention and concentrate all our efforts on our League campaign, starting with today’s hugely difficult challenge against a highly talented Glenavon team.

The busy schedule will fully stretch the depth of our squad to the limit and it will be good to get a few of our long term absentees back in action in the coming weeks.

Daniel Kearns was injured down at Dungannon several weeks ago but he’s now available for selection and in contention for a place in our squad.

Mark Stafford was injured at Portadown and I’m hopeful he might be available in the squad this weekend.

Cameron Stewart has resumed light training with the squad but I don’t expect him to be in line for a comeback for several weeks.

Mark Haughey has made slow progress this season but is back training, although it could be January before he gets game time with the Swifts and first team.

Ryan McGivern is close to being fit. His fitness and training levels are generally good but it will be good to get him game time on the pitch. We hope to have him available for selection in the next week or so, although he may initially need a game or two with the Swifts.

Our support in our recent games at home to Crusaders and away to Dungannon was excellent, as always and we will need more of the same positivity and intensity, to help inspire us to the result we all want today.
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