Belfast Telegraph

McAree warns Swifts stars to develop mental edge or face axe

By Adrian Rutherford

Rodney McAree has accused some Dungannon Swifts players of being "mentally weak".

The Swifts head coach has been left frustrated by back-to-back defeats against Carrick and Glentoran. Tomorrow, they will be aiming to avoid a third straight loss when they face Cliftonville.

McAree believes some players need to show greater mental fortitude, and he has warned that he won't hesitate to shake things up if he doesn't get the response he wants.

"I feel maybe some of our players are mentally weak - I don't know whether the desire is as great in some players as it should be," McAree said. "Unless that improves I will be looking at changing things.

"If we are going to be mentally weak and concede poor goals and we're not going to show the determination that I feel is required, obviously then I have to look at the personnel that I have.

"As good lads as they are, I have to try and improve things. I want to push on, to get in the top six. It's expected, but players maybe don't have the mental toughness to get into the top six."

A 2-1 loss at Carrick earlier this month brought an end to Dungannon's impressive form. And last weekend they suffered a second successive defeat against the Glens, conceding twice in the opening 10 minutes. Now they face a Cliftonville side sitting just above them in the table. The Swifts' struggles in this fixture in recent years have been well documented - just one win since February 2008.

And McAree is expecting another tough test against a Reds side hurting from a 2-1 home defeat against Coleraine.

"It will be very difficult," he added. "We know the threat Cliftonville bring, and they will be looking to bounce back. We need to try and respond."

Belfast Telegraph

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