Belfast Telegraph

Darren Murphy looks for victory and entertainment

By Adrian Rutherford

He can't promise to deliver silverware but Darren Murphy has insisted that Dungannon Swifts fans will see entertaining football this season.

The new term has brought the usual raft of comings and goings from Stangmore Park, but also a new emphasis on playing style.

While Dungannon have always favoured passing football, their style has developed over the summer into an enterprising brand of slick, quick play.

Last weekend's 2-0 win at Glenavon was one of Swifts' finest performances in recent times.

They will aim to maintain that level when they host Ballymena United tomorrow.

The game brings together two of the league's four remaining unbeaten sides.

One of those records could tumble at Stangmore Park, but Murphy – a former Ballymena player – believes his side's performances thus far give cause for optimism.

"We have always been renowned as a team that plays football," he said.

"I think it's something we have been trying to work on.

"We signed players in the summer with the intention of making us more exciting going forward.

"We have a lot of footballers in our team and we showed that at Glenavon. Some of our movement and our play was exceptional, and that is very pleasing.

"If you can carry out the work from the training pitch on the football pitch then you have to be happy as a manager."

One dilemma for Murphy in the opening games has been selecting a starting line-up.

With five new signings, several of last term's regulars have been missing out.

Matt Hazley and Jamie Tomelty were both on the bench for the last two games while another of last season's first teamers, Chris Lavery, has gone out on loan. Murphy admits it is a difficult task to keep everyone happy, but believes football has evolved from a simple 11-man game.

"I think you have to give credit to the ones who are in the team," he added.

"Jamie is very unfortunate but when you look at Jamie Glackin, Abby Sanusi and Josh Barton and their contribution over the three games, they have done very well.

"Likewise Terry Fitzpatrick and Ryan Harpur have been exceptional, making it harder for Matt to force his way in.

"For me it is about the 20 in the squad, not about the 11 who start.

"It is nice to have selection problems.

"It is also good to have players who buy into the idea of a squad and I think I have 20 boys who do that."

Ballymena beat Portadown last Saturday and lead the way after three games. And Murphy is expecting a tough game against his opposite number tomorrow, former team-mate, Glenn Ferguson.

"They have two wins and a draw and are top of the league, so I'm sure Glenn is a happy man – but hopefully I can take the smile off his face," he added.

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