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Swifts boss McAree is braced for huge basement battle

By Adrian Rutherford

Rodney McAree concedes tonight's basement battle at Carrick Rangers is Dungannon Swifts' biggest game of the season so far.

Two of the bottom three clash in a match which neither can afford to lose.

A defeat would leave Dungannon six points adrift of safety approaching the midway point of the campaign.

McAree admits it is a massively significant fixture.

"It is huge, absolutely huge," he said.

"It's our biggest game so far - absolutely.

"But then, at this stage, our next game is going to be our biggest for the foreseeable future. After Carrick it will be the same next weekend.

"We have to approach every game like that."

Dungannon crashed to a seventh straight league defeat against Glenavon at the weekend.

A 93rd minute header from Eoin Bradley gave the visitors a 2-1 win.

It leaves Dungannon second bottom of the table.

Carrick - who are three points above them in 10th place - lost in similar circumstances.

They were 2-0 up against Portadown, only to lose 3-2 after a 90th minute goal.

McAree admits both sides' confidence will be low.

"They got beaten by 10 men, having been 2-0 up, so they will be down as well," he said.

"We just have to go and approach the game in the same manner we approached this one, but deliver a little bit more quality going forward."

The sides had been due to play on November 7 but the game was postponed because of heavy rain.

Dungannon have not taken a league point since drawing at Portadown in September.

Carrick are chasing their first Premiership win since September 12. Boss Gary Haveron said a win tonight had become even more important after their loss at Portadown.

THE Irish FA has announced a partnership with Tennent's that sees the drinks company become the official beer partner of the Northern Ireland international team.

A six-figure deal has been agreed which also sees Tennent's secure a five-year contract to supply beer when the newly refurbished Windsor Park is fully operational.

It is understood that the deal with Tennent's is a forerunner to an agreement which will see them become title sponsors of the Irish Cup.

Belfast Telegraph


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