Belfast Telegraph

Clean slate for McAree as Dungannon Swifts and Ballinamallard United prepare to lock horns again

By Adrian Rutherford

Dungannon Swifts boss Rodney McAree says last week's win over Ballinamallard United counts for nothing as the sides meet for the second time in eight days.

Tonight's Tyrone-Fermanagh derby - a re-run of the Boxing Day fixture - opens the new year at Stangmore Park.

Dungannon won that game 3-2 after an 88th minute winner, although McAree insists it will have no bearing on this evening's rematch.

"We got a good win last time but, at the end of the day, that game is gone," he said.

"What we do know, after last Monday, is that it is going to be a tough match.

"They will come here looking for a bit of revenge in terms of the late goal they conceded.

"They are also coming off the back of a good win over Portadown. We just have to focus on ourselves and trying to get three points."

Dungannon came from 2-0 down to draw at Glentoran on Saturday - ensuring they start 2017 in the top six.

McAree believes it is now vital they pick up another three points against the struggling Fermanagh side.

"We have got ourselves on to 31 points which, at this stage of the season and for a club like Dungannon, is a good achievement," he added.

"We have to build on that going in to 2017 and continue to target points.

"If we have aspirations of breaking into the top six, we need to be looking to win our home games and improving our record against the bottom six."

The Swifts has also completed the signing of Tommy Lockhart, a left sided attacking player from Rathfriland Rangers.

McAree added: "He impressed in the games we watched him in, and has plenty to offer. He is a strong, quick, left sided forward who will provide competition for places, I'm very happy he has decided to join us at Stangmore."

Lockhart said: "It's a great opportunity for me to test myself as a player at the highest level in the country."

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