IRISH LEAGUE: Dungannon Swifts hope to pile on the agony for basement battlers Warrenpoint Town

Rod McAree
Rod McAree

It could be a winner-takes-all affair at Stangmore Park on Saturday when basement clubs Dungannon Swifts and Warrenpoint Town go head-to-head.

Barry Gray’s team find themselves cut adrift, five points behind the Swifts at the foot of the Danske Bank Premiership table.

Defeat would leave them with a mountain to climb for the remainder of the campaign – even at this stage.

And the Swifts – on the back of an impressive performance at the Oval last weekend – will be hoping to pile on the agony.

“We are going into the game with a positive approach,” said manager Rodney McAree. “We are not looking down in terms of our league position, we are looking at the team above us and that is Carrick Rangers. That’s now our target – to overtake them.

“The reality is, we have to look at it as a chance to add to our points tally.”

McAree, who replaced Darren Murphy in the hot-seat last month, is adamant the Swifts can negotiate their way out of relegation trouble.

“People might say it’s a must-win game for us, but to me, it’s a must not lose fixture,” he added.

“In the position we are in, we can’t afford to let the gap close between ourselves and Warrenpoint.

“Consistency has been our problem. But we showed what we are about at the Oval last weekend, and we must now move on from that.

“There is a very fine margin between a lot of teams in this league. I can’t fault the boys for effort, but we have lost points throughout the campaign by switching off at vital times.”