Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 24 July 2014

Glentoran can win league, says Swifts boss

Dungannon Swifts boss John Cunningham reckons Glentoran have what it takes to win back the premiership title from Linfield, his assessment based on the performance of the East Belfast men on Friday night when they completed outplayed his charges.

Alan McDonald's team only won 2-0 but created countless other chances.

“The way Glentoran played in the first half was the best that any team has played against us. They were slick, quick and came determined after their defeat last week” said Cunningham who guided his side past Linfield back in October.

“We hung in and made a couple of changes and were getting back when a wrong decision was made and they scored. Everyone in the ground saw the ball coming off Michael Halliday but we are well aware now that, when you are down at this end of the table, things don’t go your way."

And Cunningham still has an optimistic outlook ifor the relegation battle.

“I am not concerned as we have good bunch of players working hard. I don’t think we will play any as good as Glentoran in the remainder of the season” added the Dungannon manager.

Glentoran scored within two minutes of Dungannon kicking the game off, Gary Hamilton finishing from eight yards after Colin Nixon supplied the pass from the right wing.

Despite the one-sided nature of the game, Glentoran didn’t double their advantage until the 75th minute when Michael Halliday headed home from that controversial corner award.

In between, The Glens created at least 14 scoring chances with Jason Hill, Dean Fitzgerald, Grant Gardiner and Darryl Fordyce bringing saves while Halliday headed onto the crossbar and Hamilton had a 20 yard drive pushed onto the post and behind.

McDonald was delighted with the win.

“This was different feeling than after our last outing. I thought we were awesome in the first half, a great reaction to the disappointment last week when we took a lot of stick following defeat."

But McDonald isn’t getting carried away.

“It has been a funny season, full of swings and roundabouts and results some people would term as shocks. All we can do is focus on our own performances and see where that takes us” added the Oval boss

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