Dungannon Swifts manager Darren Murphy has set his players a challenge ahead of the Boxing Day clash against Ballinamallard United at Ferney Park.
The Swifts catapulted to sixth place in the Premiership table following their impressive win over Coleraine at the weekend and Murphy now wants them to push on.
“We are so far up the table, we’ll be taking a nose bleed,” quipped Murphy.
“I’m sure there are a few raised eyebrows at our position. We have shocked a few teams this season.
“But on a serious issue, I’ll now be asking our boys if they want to become recognised as a bottom six club or can we push on and become one of the top six?
“It’s a challenge for them. I’m certainly delighted with the progress that has been made.
“In all honesty, had I been offered at the start of the season the chance to be sitting in sixth place on Boxing Day, I would have bitten your arm off.
“But the big challenge is staying there and perhaps even improving on that.”
Murphy expects few favours against a Ballinamallard team that was unlucky to leave Solitude empty handed on Saturday.
“They may be only two years in this league, but they are a good established side,” added Murphy.
“They’ll probably look at the game as a genuine chance to pocket three points, but we must make sure we have other ideas.”
It could well be Darren Boyce’s final game in the blue shirt of Dungannon. The striker is currently on loan from Coleraine, but has attracted interest from a number of clubs as the transfer window is about to open next month.
“We just don’t have the financial clout to keep him,” added Murphy, who had a brief chat with Bannsiders’ boss Oran Kearney about the player at the weekend.
“It’s out of my hands. Other club’s have declared an interest, so it’s basically up to Coleraine and the player.”