Belfast Telegraph

Swifts boss Murphy looks to future and stays positive

By Adrian Rutherford

Dungannon Swifts manager Darren Murphy claims he pays little attention to statistics - which is probably just as well.

One look at the record books will show that his side's record against today's opponents Cliftonville is pretty poor.

Dungannon have not beaten the Reds since February 2008 - failing to win any of the 23 meetings between the teams since then.

If that wasn't concerning enough, there are two other statistics to trouble Murphy.

Dungannon have won just one home league game in almost a year and their only win this season came at Glenavon, way back on August 16.

No wonder most pundits have Cliftonville as big favourites to win this afternoon.

Yet Murphy insists he is paying no attention to any of that - claiming the 90 minutes to come are of greater significance than what's happened in the past.

"I'm not a big fan of records," said Murphy.

"It has been a different team and set of players each time, so I don't think you can read anything into it.

"It's an interesting stat for some, but the result of Saturday's game will be determined by the players, not what's happened before.

"Cliftonville have generally been the better team, and that's the reason for the 23-game run rather than any hoodoo."

Murphy is also keen not to put too much emphasis on his side's disappointing results this season.

Dungannon sit second bottom of the Danske Bank Premiership with just one win and six draws from their 14 games.

"Of the seven games we've lost, four of them have been by a single goal," said Murphy.

"You look at last weekend at Institute when Jamie Douglas had a great chance to win it in the 93rd minute.

"It was the same a couple of weeks ago at Ballymena and against Coleraine we conceded the winner in the 94th minute.

"I don't think we are too far away. We just have to keep going and hopefully results will turn and we'll pick up a few wins."

Murphy believes league survival will be tougher than ever to achieve this season.

"There was always going to come a point when it was difficult, and this year is proving to be more difficult than before for us," he added.

"I think the league is stronger than ever this season.

"I actually believe we are playing better than we did last season, although the points return is not as good and we need to address that."

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