Irish league: Frustrated Darren Murphy demands a reaction from Dungannon Swifts against Coleraine

Dungannon manager Darren Murphy
Dungannon manager Darren Murphy

Dungannon Swifts manager Darren Murphy never criticises his players, but he found it difficult to hold his tongue after last week’s drubbing at Seaview.

Crusaders smashed four goals past goalkeeper Andy Coleman, but they were gift-wrapped by some generous Swifts defending.

Murphy, who was happy with the midweek League Cup success against Newington, has warned his boys he doesn’t want a repeat of last weekend’s antics when Oran Kearney’s Coleraine leave a calling card at Stangmore Park on Saturday.

“I don’t like having a go at my players in public... everything must be said in the dressing room,” said Murphy. “But our defending against the Crues was dreadful. You wouldn’t have seen it in a public park.

“The main thing is that we must learn from it. Apart from the errors, the performance wasn’t all that bad.

“But when you defend poorly, you give yourself mountains to climb in terms of trying to pick up points. I thought we had solved the problem by keeping clean sheets against Ballinamallard and Ballymena, but all the good work was undone at Seaview.”

Murphy is hoping to have young centre-back Dougie Wilson in the squad.

“He played his first game of the season for the reserves in midweek, which is a big plus for us,” he added. “I just don’t know whether he would be ready to go into the squad.

“Cameron Grieve is out with a knee injury, while Jamie Douglas is on holidays... he’s away to Thailand for five weeks, which is hardly ideal.

“This will be another difficult game against a Coleraine side that has performed well. Oran had brought in a lot of new players and they gelled right from the off.

“The young boys up front, (Jamie) McGonigle and (James) McLaughlin are doing really well for him. “Oran also made a shrewd move by bring Winkie Murphy in as his assistant.

“He brings with him a winning habit from his playing days. But we have home advantage and we must make that count. On our day we are match for any side in the league.”

Coleraine boss Kearney, whose team have reeled in nine points from their five starts, is eager to keep the momentum going.

“This is a league of mentality in many ways,” he said. “The key thing is to hang in when things are not going well.

“We did that last week that got us three points against Ballinamallard, so credit to the lads. Sometimes when teams go down to 10 men, it’s difficult enough to play against.

“We’ll need to keep that mentality and work rate going at Stangmore Park.”