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Lyttle is geared for a whole new ball game at Dungannon Swifts

By Adrian Rutherford

Gerard Lyttle expects a very different game tonight as Cliftonville face Dungannon Swifts for the second time in five days.

The Reds claimed a 1-0 win in the Danske Bank Premiership on Saturday.

Tonight the focus shifts to knockout football with a place in the quarter-finals awaiting the winners at Stangmore Park.

Cliftonville have an unbeaten record in this fixture stretching back 26 games, and their weekend win will be a further boost to confidence.

However, Lyttle is reading nothing into that, and predicts a very different match.

"It will be a completely different game," he said.

"We had a good result on Saturday but that is in the past -Wednesday night will be a new challenge.

"Cup games are always different. It's a one-off game and players tend to give it a real go," he added.

Cliftonville have not lost to Dungannon since February 2008.

However, Lyttle saw enough on Saturday to realise his side will face another tough match.

"I wasn't aware that it was 26 games - what I am aware of is that every time we go to Dungannon it is a hard place to play and it is always a close game," he said.

"For some reason we always seem to do well but it's always a hard fought game."

Lyttle has hinted he could shake up his team for tonight's tie.

Among those who could come into contention is Tiernan McNicholl, who made his league debut as a late sub at Stangmore Park at the weekend.

"We will look at the players who maybe haven't played many minutes," said Lyttle.

"We had two young boys on the bench on Saturday from the reserves who have come through the youth set-up, and maybe we'll have a look at giving those two a run-out."

Dungannon sit second bottom of the league.

Darren Murphy is hoping a win tonight could give his side a timely boost.

"Cup football gives players a break from the grind of Irish League football," the Swifts manager said.

"It is an opportunity to get to the quarter-finals of a cup and we have to approach the game in the right manner.

"Hopefully the boys turn up with the same attitude and put in the same level of performance.

"If we do that hopefully we can make the next round."

Cliftonville are still without the injured David McDaid, but do have both Eamon Seydak and Caoimhin Bonner back from suspension.

Belfast Telegraph


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