IRISH CUP: Rodney McAree hoping Dungannon Swifts can bounce back from Windsor Park mauling

Dungannon lost 6-0 to Linfield in midweek
Dungannon lost 6-0 to Linfield in midweek

Dungannon Swifts boss Rodney McAree has urged his players to lift themselves “out of the gutter” and prove their mettle against Crusaders in the Irish Cup.

The Swifts go into Saturday’s crunch sixth round tie on the back of a 6-0 drubbing to Linfield in midweek.

McAree’s side capitulated at Windsor Park as the Blues ran riot.

Now the Dungannon boss has demanded a massive response ahead of the visit of Premiership champions Crusaders to Stangmore Park.

“If we defend the way we did against Linfield then we will end up on the receiving end once again,” McAree said.

“We have to regroup and get ready to go again against Crusaders.

“I want a response after Tuesday night. We are hurting after losing 6-0, but we will train and prepare for another massive challenge.

“We were found out a little against Linfield. We looked vulnerable at the back and we paid the price.

“Hopefully Tuesday was a one-off from the lads and that they can bounce back.

“We have to deal with it and move on. We can’t let Tuesday night fester and impact on our season. We need it out of our system.

“We have done well and competed well recently. It is the first time we have lost by one or more goal since I came in, so we can take positives from that.

“The worrying aspect is we capitulated a little bit near the end.

“We switched off a wee bit, and you can’t afford to do that against a team like Linfield. We have to take it on the chin and go again.”

McAree is hoping Dungannon can cause a cup shock against the Crues.

“There are always cup shocks, in every round,” he added. “We need to set the team up to make sure we are hard to break down, and then we can build on that.

“I don’t think we have beaten Crusaders too many times. Stangmore is tight and compact, and it is not a big pitch. But we have to lift ourselves out of the gutter and give it a go.”