DANSKE BANK PREMIERSHIP: Dungannon hoping for a big finish

Dungannon Swifts  manager Rodney McAree. @INPHO/Brian Little
Dungannon Swifts manager Rodney McAree. @INPHO/Brian Little

Rodney McAree has a message for anybody at Dungannon Swifts who thinks that having the League Cup tucked away in the club’s trophy cabinet means the season is over...’Think again!’.

“We want to be involved in the European play-offs at the end of the season,” said McAree after Saturday’s 3-0 defeat at Crusaders.

“I don’t think that since we won the League Cup there has been any lack of effort from the players.

“But since then we have won one and now lost three. But we have still lots to play for and intend to give it a go.

“Next up we have Glenavon at home on Friday night and although they have had a wee bit of a lull as well they do have an awful lot of quality so we will need to get back to playing with a lot more positivity going forward.”

McAree has found the title tussle between Crusaders and Coleraine fascinating and hopes it still has legs.

“For the sake of the local game I would love to see it go to the wire,” admitted the Swifts boss.

“Crusaders edge it on experience having won it twice in the last three years and they will have learned a lot from what happened last year and they will be very determined not to let that happen again.

“Fair play to Coleraine because come the turn of the year everyone expected them to drift away but they haven’t and they got another good win this weekend against an Ards side who have been doing well of late.

“It will be a hugely important game when the pair play each other on Easter Tuesday but after the split when the top six play each other anything can happen.

“I expect a tight finish and as to who wins it I don’t really have a preference.”