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McAree wants to see Swifts move through gears in play-off mission

Ards 4 Dungannon Swifts 1

By Keith Bailie

Dungannon Swifts boss Rodney McAree has warned his players they must improve if they are to reach the Europa League play-offs.

Currently in pole position to make the grade, the seventh-placed Swifts find themselves just one point ahead of Glentoran and Ards, to whom they slipped to a 4-1 hammering at the weekend.

"I'm very disappointed with the performance," said McAree. "Our display is reflected in the scoreline, because Ards were better than us all over the park. We had no fight and no desire.

"We still have plenty to play for. If we want to finish seventh then we will have to do better than that, as that performance was completely unacceptable. It was all the wrongs and hardly any rights.

"Seventh place is still in our hands, but it's very tight. Everybody is talking about ourselves and Glentoran, but we've let Ards right back into it. They've not applied for a European Licence, so can't play in the play-offs, but if they finish seventh they will stop ourselves from playing in it."

Ards took the lead in the 13th minute through a Michael Ruddy penalty kick, before Jarlath O'Rourke's 20th minute own goal. Chris Hegarty pulled one back before half-time, but strikes from Matthew Shevlin and Guillaume Keke completed the win for Colin Nixon side.

Nixon said: "We were dominant in attack and very solid at the back, apart from the sloppy goal we conceded.

"We played some really good football, we were well worth our win and I think every player put in a good performance."

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