Belfast Telegraph

Dungannon Swifts will struggle to keep hold of hotshot Andrew Mitchell, admits Rodney McAree

Glentoran 2 Dungannon Swifts 2

By Ian Callender

Andrew Mitchell continues to lead the way in the Danske Bank Premiership goalscoring charts, with his double against Glentoran earning Dungannon Swifts a deserved point.

But his manager, Rodney McAree, admits it will be difficult to hold on to his star striker next season.

"There will be a lot of interest because Andy is in the last six months of his contract but having conversations with him I think Andy is happy to stay until the end of the season. Hopefully we can hold on to him then but it will be very difficult," said McAree.

"I have put the onus on others to score goals but also to create more opportunities and I thought Jamie Glackin and Jarleth O'Rourke did that on the left and caused them problems."

Glackin, having switched flanks at half-time, and full-back O'Rourke provided the assists for Mitchell's 17th and 18th goals of the season in a 16-minute spell in the second half when Swifts cancelled out Curtis Allen and James Ferrin's first-half strikes and could easily have gone on to win the match.

"I thought we played very well, despite giving two very bad goals away - two or three bodies just stood and watched," added McAree.

"But we changed personnel into different areas in the second half and it worked. It wouldn't have been surprising if we had won, I felt we were the better side over the 90 minutes."

While the point was enough to take Swifts back into the top half of the table, the Glens, who have now won only one of their last nine games, have dropped to ninth place, albeit still 12 points clear of the bottom two.

Manager Gary Haveron admits buying new players this month is not an option but with so many stars out injured, he is stressing the positives on their return.

"Marcus Kane and Stevie Gordon will be like new signings when they come back and will give us a boost while Davy Scullion should be available in February so I'm looking at what we already have," he said.

"It was a makeshift midfield, missing McAlorum (who was suspended), Foley, Gordon, Kane, Scullion, Birney, all big players and they make us competitive. Boys are asking for opportunities but they aren't doing enough to stay in the team and now we have to go down to Portadown on Tuesday and shake this off. It's a 2-2 draw but it feels like a defeat.

"If Ciaran Caldwell scores at the start of the second half, one-on-one with the keeper, we kill the game off, it's 3-0, game over, but that has been the story of our season."

GLENTORAN: Morris; McAuley, Magee, Addis, Redman; Harmon, Ferrin , K Nelson (O'Flynn 75 mins), Lavery; Caldwell; Allen. Unused subs: Novo, D Nelson, Warnock, Smith.

DUNGANNON: Coleman; Armstrong, Hegarty, Wilson, O'Rourke; Lowe, Harpur; Glackin, Burke (Lavery 88 mins), McElroy; Mitchell. Unused subs: Addis, Teggart, Clucas, McMahon.

Referee: Steven Gregg (Ballyclare)

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