Belfast Telegraph

Dungannon Swifts boss Murphy to ease off refs

By Stuart McKinley

The secret behind Dungannon Swifts' rousing start to the season could possibly be put down to a change in attitude from their manager.

While Ballymena United boss Glenn Ferguson and Glentoran chief Eddie Patterson have criticised refereeing decisions in recent weeks, Swifts manager Darren Murphy doesn't intend to join them as he has vowed to lay off officials this season.

Murphy has clashed with refs many times throughout his career as player and manager, but now he is going to give the men in black a break.

Whether that has had a major impact on the team is debatable, but with the Swifts sitting fifth in the Premiership just three points behind leaders Portadown, Murphy's focus on what his players are doing rather than the men in the middle seems to be working.

"When a referee makes a decision, he's not going to change it," said Murphy.

"If I argue about it for the next 10 minutes I end up losing focus and I'm not doing my own job.

"When you're a young manager and wet behind the ears, you get one bad decision and you think the whole world is against you.

"That then spills over onto the players, so I have tried to take a step back.

"I am still learning. Even Ronnie McFall, who has been in the game more than 30 years, is still learning and what I've taken on board is that there is no point clashing with referees – it just doesn't get you anywhere."

With things going well on the pitch at the County Tyrone club, Murphy now wants to make sure that everything he does helps the team.

"During pre-season I tried to bite my lip and not have a go at referees over some contentious things because I know that at the end of the day it doesn't do myself or my team any good," said Murphy.

"I have brought that into the season and I hope that I can carry that on and be a wee bit better at it.

"When I'm on the touchline, it's more important that I'm getting instructions to the players than speaking to referees."

Belfast Telegraph


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