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I'm fitter and stronger than ever after injury nightmare, says Dungannon keeper Sam Johnston


Back again: Sam Johnston had been out since late November

Back again: Sam Johnston had been out since late November

Back again: Sam Johnston had been out since late November

Dungannon goalkeeper Sam Johnston has told of his relief at getting back to action after three months of injury frustration.

The 23-year-old was sidelined after picking up a groin problem in late November.

He returned to fitness in January, but then had to wait for his chance because of the form of back-up Conner Byrne.

However, Johnston returned for the 2-1 win at Carrick on February 22.

He followed that with a man-of-the-match display in the Irish Cup defeat to Cliftonville last weekend, before keeping a clean sheet in Tuesday's win over Ballymena.

Johnston said: "I was out for 12 weeks and after about four weeks I was at the gaffer, saying, 'Get me back in, I'm ready'.

"He didn't want to risk me, and he was right. I'm back stronger and fitter than ever."

Johnston picked up his injury in a 6-1 loss to Crusaders on November 30.

Back then, the Swifts were really struggling, but results and performances have picked up since the turn of the year.

Dungannon host Warrenpoint today, knowing that a win would move them 15 points clear of the bottom two.

But Johnston, who joined from Ards last summer, said they will not relax just yet.

"We are a good few points above Warrenpoint but we know it is not over yet," he added.

"There are still eight games to go - five of them in the split - and we won't take it lightly.

"If we were to go on a bad run, we could get dragged in again, but we're now starting to look forward rather than over our shoulders."

Dungannon will be without winger Caolan McAleer, who suffered ankle ligament damage in the Cup loss to Cliftonville last weekend.

Dougie Wilson and Oisin Smyth are both suspended after picking up bookings on Tuesday night. Daniel Hughes, who went off with a shoulder injury in that game, is also a doubt.

Belfast Telegraph