Dungannon Swifts boss Rodney McAree believes his players have developed a steely resolve as the season has progressed.
The Swifts flexed their mental muscle during an impressive festive period.
The Stangmore Park outfit claimed seven out of a possible nine points in the Premiership, earned from wins against Portadown and Glentoran and a 1-1 draw with Ballinamallard.
McAree hopes his players can continue building momentum when they entertain Warrenpoint Town in the fifth round of the Tennent’s Irish Cup on Saturday.
“It was a very pleasing Christmas and New Year period for us. I would have taken seven points from those three games before a ball was kicked,” the Dungannon boss said.
“The players have shown a lot of character in recent weeks, and the belief is there. I think confidence is a big part of that.
“We played Glentoran earlier in the season and were 1-0 ahead. We then conceded and folded, and ended up losing 4-2.
“On New Year’s Day we were 1-0 up again and Glentoran equalised, but we responded and kicked on and got the 3-1 victory.
“We would have lost that game earlier in the season, so we are seeing signs of improvement.”
Dungannon romped to a 5-1 victory over Warrenpoint in November, and won 2-0 at Milltown earlier in the season.
“Those results mean nothing going into Saturday,” McAree said.
“They are two good wins, but it won’t help us get another victory in the cup. We need to work hard again.”