Belfast Telegraph

Fra Brennan isn't hitting the panic button just yet

By Adrian Rutherford

Fra Brennan insists there is little sense of panic in the Dungannon Swifts camp, despite a run of four successive league defeats.

After a positive start to the season, when after drawing at home to Institute and Ballinamallard United they ended the first week of the campaign with a win at Glenavon, Dungannon have hit a poor run and sit just a point off bottom spot.

They face Crusaders at home tomorrow, kicking off a tough run of fixtures during the remainder of September, which also brings big tests against Cliftonville and Glentoran.

Brennan admits that morale at Stangmore Park has taken a blow due to their poor form, but insists the players cannot feel sorry for themselves.

"Our confidence is down, as anyone else's would be after a defeat, but we will keep working hard and be ready to go again on Saturday," the defender said.

"If we can get a win against Crusaders things will be looking a whole lot better. That is the nature of football.

"A few bad results and everyone starts panicking and fearing the worst, but if we pull off a result against Crusaders confidence suddenly goes up.

"It's a long hard season and this is not the time to panic, just a month into the season."

Swifts manager Darren Murphy has been trying to implement a new style of play and that, together with summer arrivals Josh Barton, Abiola Sansui, Andy Coleman, Andy Mitchell and David Armstrong going through settling-in periods, has had an impact on their early-season form.

Despite successive defeats at home to Ballymena United, Linfield, Warrenpoint Town, followed by last week's loss at Portadown, Dungannon's performances have been reasonably encouraging.

Brennan believes the Swifts should have more points than the table shows and he also points to a number of dubious referee calls that he claims have been costly.

"Yes, we probably should have more points, but I'm not going to make any excuses," he added.

"The hard fact is that we haven't got them.

"If you want to start pointing fingers, there were two clear penalties in the Ballymena and Linfield games.

"We go to the Warrenpoint game and we have a soft penalty given against us in that one.

"You need luck in football and sometimes it doesn't go for you, but it's a long season and eventually it will turn."

Despite the Swifts' poor form, Brennan is refusing to contemplate a relegation battle at Stangmore Park.

Indeed, his sights are still set on challenging for a top six place.

"I think anyone we play gives us credit for our football and our ability," he added.

"Everyone knows the players and I think we're a very good squad.

"I believe we can go right up into the top six. I know many people will say we can't do it, but the opponents we've played and the length I've played in this league, I genuinely do believe we're good enough.

"It is whether it comes our way. In football you need a bit of luck but it isn't quite going our way at the minute."

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