Darren Murphy urges Dungannon Swifts to rise to Glenavon challenge

Dungannon Swifts boss Darren Murphy has highlighted the threat posed by 'Glenavon's Kevin Braniff
Dungannon Swifts boss Darren Murphy has highlighted the threat posed by 'Glenavon's Kevin Braniff

Darren Murphy is urging his players to ‘raise to the challenge’ when the travel to Mourneview Park to face in-form Glenavon on Saturday.

Gary Hamilton may take every opportunity of playing down his team’s title challenge, but Murphy will not fall into the trap.

“Gary doesn’t get the credit he deserves because he has assembled a fantastic squad at Glenavon,” said the Dungannon Swifts chief.

“We have drawn our two opening games against Institute and Ballinamallard, but with no disrespect to those teams, this will be our biggest test to date.

“It’s a huge task, there is no question about that.”

Murphy paid the Glenavon strike force of Eoin Bradley, Kevin Braniff and Guy Bates a massive compliment by stating it is probably the most potent front line in the league.

He added: “Gary did fantastically well in the summer transfer market.

“Bringing in Braniff and Bradley was a master stroke.

“I rate Braniff as the best player in the league. They have already demonstrated how dangerous they can be. In fact, I would say it’s the best Glenavon front line for the past 10 or 15 years.

“They are on a par with the great partnership that Glenn Ferguson, Raymond McCoy and Stephen McBride formed.

“I just don’t know how we’ll deal with them. How do you handle boys like that?

“Then in midfield, they have McCabe and Kilmartin and behind them the likes of big Kris Lindsay and the new lad Dillon. Gary also has a choice of goalkeepers in James McGrath and Alan Blayney.

“It all adds up to a great squad of footballers and I’m sure they’ll be a force to be reckoned with.

“But it’s a challenge for us – and every other team to match them.

“These are the sort of challenges we relish – that’s why we are involved in this game.”

Naturally, Hamilton isn’t having any of it.

Even though they have reeled in four points from the opening two league games, he insists: “We are still a long way off being a championship challenging team.”