Belfast Telegraph

Swifts ready for battle against classy Crues, says Hegarty

By Adrian Rutherford

Chris Hegarty believes Dungannon will revel in the role of underdog at Crusaders today.

The Swifts are seeking their first Seaview win since 2010. Stephen Baxter's side are aiming for an eighth straight victory in this fixture.

As a former player with Rangers and Linfield, Hegarty often had to cope with the weight of expectation in games. Now on the other foot with Dungannon, be believes being written off will suit the Tyrone side.

"Everyone raises their game for the bigger clubs," the defender said. "When I was at Linfield and Rangers I noticed that - everyone puts in that bit more effort.

"If we can work that to our advantage on Saturday then so be it."

Crusaders sit third after posting some impressive results in the opening weeks. They claimed crucial wins over Cliftonville and Linfield, and hit five at Ballinamallard earlier this month.

And Hegarty believes Dungannon must be prepared to battle, despite the odds being stacked against them.

"Crusaders will not be an easy game but we will go there and we will battle," he added.

"Matches like this bring the best out of us. Every player will go there and give 100% and put in a shift - we have to."

Dungannon lost their opening three games against Coleraine, Glentoran and Linfield. Since then they have picked up some form, beating Ards, Ballinamallard and, most recently, Warrenpoint Town.

On Tuesday night they claimed a 4-0 win over Lurgan Celtic in the Mid-Ulster Cup.

"We had a fairly tough start - Coleraine are on a fantastic run, you're playing Linfield as well in the first three games," added Hegarty.

"Over the last few matches we have shown a lot of desire and a willingness to go and win games.

"We are on the right track. There is such togetherness in the squad - boys who want to win games, and I think that is showing. Now we want to push on and get a bit of momentum going."

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