Belfast Telegraph

Andrew Mitchell aims for top six for Dungannon Swifts

Portadown 1-2 Dungannon

By Adrian Rutherford

Andrew Mitchell believes Dungannon Swifts can push for Europe next season - and wants to be part of the quest.

The striker scored twice as the Tyrone side beat Portadown to guarantee survival.

After hitting 21 goals in all competitions this term, Mitchell is likely to feature on many managers' summer shopping list, but the player himself wants to stay at Stangmore Park.

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"I've a year's contract left so I expect to stay," he said. "I love it here. We play great football, and we're getting results with it.

"I've had a great chance this year, playing up front most weeks, and that's down to the manager giving me that opportunity. Hopefully repaying him with 21 goals has justified that."

After securing another season in the top division, Mitchell has set his sights higher up the table next term.

"Top six has to be the target next season," he added.

"I think for too long we've been in and around the bottom, and have been happy to finish seventh or eighth.

"I think next year we can really push on, break into the top six and push for Europe."

Mitchell broke the deadlock after 12 minutes in bizarre fashion, as his cross curled towards goal and beat goalkeeper David Miskelly.

He doubled the Swifts' lead in the 70th minute, holding off a defender before rounding the goalkeeper to slot home.

Portadown pulled one back with 15 minutes left as Nathaniel Ferris finished off a cross from Matthew Parker.

But it came too late, leaving the Ports just three points above the drop zone.

These are worrying times, and boss Pat McGibbon has questioned the commitment of some of his squad.

"It's tough down at the bottom," he said.

"We were well aware that we were going to be in the mix because our form hasn't been good and we need results.

"I've said to some of the boys, I know the five or six - in my short spell here as caretaker - who I have onside.

"I'm just not so sure about some of the others."

PORTADOWN: Miskelly, Parker, Oman, Breen, Casement, Gault, Mackle, Ferris (Richardson, 84 mins), Brown (Redman, 46 mins), Garrett, Twigg (McAllister, 73 mins). Unused subs: Marron, Mouncey

DUNGANNON: Coleman, Montgomery, Hegarty, Armstrong, McCaffrey, Wilson, Harpur, Fitzpatrick, Glackin, Burke (Lowe, 67 mins) Mitchell (Liggett, 88 mins). Unused subs: Addis, O'Rourke

Man of the match: Andrew Mitchell

Match rating: 6/10

Referee: Arnold Hunter (Maguiresbridge)

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