Belfast Telegraph

Friday 26 December 2014

Cliftonville boss Patterson can feel Swifts pain

The state of mind with which Dungannon Swifts will enter today's clash with Cliftonville will come as no surprise to Reds' boss Eddie Patterson.

Swifts travel to Solitude just two points and two places off the foot of the table and it's a position that Patterson and his players knows all too well.

Before Christmas it was Cliftonville who were next to bottom before a turn in form and fortune now sees them target a place in the top six.

"We have experienced what Dungannon are feeling now when we were second bottom," he explained.

"The small things can tend to go against you, but we realised that we had to make our own luck if we were to get out of it.

"So we know where they'll be coming from and that we will have to match their desire, their hunger and their workrate.

"I watched Dungannon in midweek against Crusaders and they were a big improvement on how they were playing earlier in the season and maybe unfortunate not to take all three points.

"Our last two games have been postponed and the forecast doesn't look great for the weekend, but the players are really keen to get out and have the game played."

Patterson continues to be without key personnel through injury.

Francis Murphy, Declan O’Hara, David McAlinden, Liam Fleming and Kieran O’Connor are all still sidelined.

Ronan Scannell and Aaron Smyth return from suspension for today's contest and another player likely to be involved is transfer-listed Rory Hamill.

Hamill was put on the list at his own request during the January transfer window, but with a proposed move to Bangor falling through Patterson admits he is glad to have the former Glentoran striker still on board.

"We signed Rory on a two year contract in the summer because we wanted him to be part of what we're doing at this club,” he said.

"Through one thing and other Rory hasn't really been able to get a run in the team and he asked to go on the list.

"He had a suspension to serve and then the team hit a very good spell and because of that was mainly unchanged.

"We're pleased that he's still at the club and he'll be giving his all between now and the end of the season.

"If anything changed for Rory in the summer, then that is up to him."

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