Rodney McAree determined to keep looking up the Premiership table after dramatic draw with Crusaders
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Ben Kennedy’s first Premiership goal since October – which also came in County Tyrone against the Swifts – put the visitors ahead before Andrew Mitchell’s maiden league strike after returning from Coleraine last month levelled proceedings.
Joe Moore thought he’d secured victory for Dungannon in the 89th minute, but Kennedy would have the final say to help the Crues break a four-game losing league streak.
It has been a rollercoaster few weeks for McAree’s men, who defeated title-chasing Linfield at Windsor Park in their previous league outing before crashing out of the Irish Cup last Saturday following a 3-2 home defeat to Championship outfit Ballyclare Comrades.
With Carrick Rangers and Glenavon also collecting points, the race to secure a top-six finish – and a European play-off berth – is heating up ad McAree wants to focus on teams above them, rather than over their shoulder at the likes of Ballymena United.
"We always have to look for improvement and that's what we have done,” he said on BBC Sportsound. “As soon as we came in at the start of the season we looked for improvement on last season and that was to score more goals...we've scored a lot more goals.
"We always have to try and maintain looking to improve, get better week by week and be better in different areas. It does give you a lot of heart.
"We try not to look over our shoulder as much as people think we maybe do. We're conscious of where we are in the table, but we're also conscious that we're within touching distance of teams above us and we want to close the gap and bypass teams.
"We want to see how high we can finish up the table. If that's 10th, then we'll probably accept that, but if we can finish higher then it would be a successful season.
"We work tirelessly. I think I can be a puke to the rest of the coaching staff because I can be quite intense in terms of never really switching off.
"I still believe we've conceded too many goals...our against column in the league table shows too many goals so we have to reduce that.
"If we do reduce that going forward and continue doing what we've been doing going forward then hopefully we'll get better results."
McAree ultimately felt his side deserved more than just one point, and while he’s left disappointed for a second consecutive weekend, it’s for a very different reason.
“We're disappointed today because we've dropped two points at home to Crusaders, who are a very good side and have a lot of good players,” he added. “We were devastated last week because we went out of the Irish Cup...we were terrible and that's no disrespect to Ballyclare.
"This week we're disappointed because we deservedly go 2-1 up and then throw it away when we had the three points in our hands.
"I thought we deserved to win the game, but you're never going to win the first header against Crusaders and their second goal comes from a direct ball and we have to defend the second ball better, which we haven't and we've suffered.
"We've done that all season...if we can correct that and do better in those situations then we would be in a better position."