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McLaughlin says Reds have got to rediscover their spark in title race

Cliftonville 1 Dungannon Swifts 1


In touch: Swifts’ Douglas Wilson scraps with Conor McMenamin

In touch: Swifts’ Douglas Wilson scraps with Conor McMenamin

�INPHO/Philip McGowan

In touch: Swifts’ Douglas Wilson scraps with Conor McMenamin

Paddy McLaughlin acknowledged Cliftonville's lack of creativity was a massive source of frustration in Saturday's home draw with Dungannon Swifts.

Joe Gormley's quick response to Douglas Wilson's opener for the visitors failed to shake the Reds out of a lifeless display that saw Swifts keeper Conner Byrne reduced to a spectating role for long stretches - and McLaughlin admits his men have work to do to reignite their title hopes.

"With the firepower we have, we should nearly be creating a chance with every attack," he said. "We've set ourselves targets right throughout the season about being in touch at the top come Christmas time, then through the New Year and then come the split. We're still up there but results like this don't help our case and you can't look five or six weeks down the line and say, 'We've still got to play them and we can pick points up here', because it's here and now that matters."

Opposite number Kris Lindsay was understandably more upbeat after seeing Dungannon edge further away from the relegation mire by adding another point to their tally.

"We've had a couple of new, fresh faces in who have added a little bit of energy going forward," he said.

"The atmosphere about the place has been excellent in training and in matches. We're starting to build on that and long may it continue but I've told the boys we've set these standards and we know we're capable - but now we can't fall below it."

CLIFTONVILLE: Brush, McDermott, Ives, Harney (Foster, 28 mins), C Curran, McCrudden (Maguire, 81 mins), Doherty (McCurry, 87 mins), Gormley, McMenamin, Donnelly. Unused subs: Dunne, Wilson, Casey, Rocks.

DUNGANNON: Byrne, Redman, Wilson, King, Hughes (Waide, 76 mins), Smyth, Lowe, Coyle, McAleer, Campbell (Teggart, 86 mins), McGinty. Unused subs: Johnston, Patton, Brennan, Keke, Fitzpatrick.

Referee: Tony Clarke (Newtownabbey)

Man of the match: Douglas Wilson

Match rating: 4/10

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