Belfast Telegraph

Dungannon Swifts looking for festive points boost

By Adrian Rutherford

It may be the season of goodwill but Dixie Robinson will be hoping no presents are handed out by his side at Stangmore Park this afternoon.

The festivities will be put firmly on hold as Dungannon Swifts focus on the serious business of Premiership survival against relegation rivals Newry City.

Just two points separate the sides in the league table — and victory for either team this afternoon would be a huge psychological boost. However, both sides’ hopes may yet be left on ice.

The bone-chilling temperatures have left the Stangmore Park pitch frozen — and a decision will be made this morning on whether the game can go ahead.

It should mark the start of the busy Christmas and New Year period which Robinson believes is vital to Dungannon’s chances of survival.

Games against Crusaders, Donegal Celtic and Glentoran also lie ahead and Robinson is aiming for a big return of points.

“The Christmas and New Year period is vital for every team, whether you are in the top four or bottom four of the table,” he said.

“With so many games, it is important to accumulate points, in our case to try and make sure we are clear of the relegation places.”

Dungannon have lost their last three games including a controversial 2-1 defeat to Ballymena United last time out when they finished with nine men.

However, Robinson has seen positives in his side’s recent displays.

“We are getting plenty of effort and hard work and I’m confident we are not far from turning the corner and getting a positive result,” he added.

“I know the type of changing room I have and that I am getting 100% off everyone.

“I’m definitely pleased with the level of commitment. Probably the one thing we lack is that bit of extra quality the top teams have.”

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