Belfast Telegraph

Mitchell is fired up to deliver perfect leaving present for the Swifts

By Adrian Rutherford

Andrew Mitchell wants to deliver the Irish Cup as a parting gift to Dungannon Swifts.

The striker, who has hit 21 goals this season, is set for a summer move to Glenavon.

But he is eager to sign off in style by firing the Tyrone side - who host Warrenpoint in the quarter-finals tomorrow afternoon - to a first major trophy.

"Dungannon Swifts is an absolutely fantastic club," Mitchell said. "I have come on so much and that is testament to Rodney (McAree) and the backroom staff, and also the players.

"I would love to deliver an Irish Cup for them, because I'm so thankful for the opportunity they have given me."

A win over the Championship leaders would secure Dungannon's first semi-final since 2012.

On paper the Swifts are heavy favourites, having drawn a home tie against the only non-Premiership side left, yet Mitchell believes any complacency could be fatal.

"It is going to be a fierce battle - it's going to be a very, very difficult game," he said. "Warrenpoint are doing very, very well in the Championship and are 14 or 15 points clear at the top, so they are not going to be easy.

"We need to be on form, we need to do the best that we can to beat them."

The draw has been kind to Dungannon right the way through the competition - this is their third home tie in a row.

The Swifts beat Championship side Dergview 3-0 in the fifth round, before easing past Dollingstown 4-1 in the last 16.

Now they have another lower league side, albeit one seemingly set for promotion.

Warrenpoint have lost just two of their 24 league games in the Championship, winning 17 of them, so will be no pushovers.

While accepting Dungannon are favourites, Mitchell believes it also creates problems.

"It definitely brings pressure, but you can't let it get to your head," he said. "You just have to do your thing. You go out every Saturday and you have to do the best that you can, and not let the occasion faze you.

"It's about going out and trying to get yourself into the semi-final of the Irish Cup."

It is 10 years since Dungannon last reached an Irish Cup final.

The 2007 journey, which ended in a heartbreaking penalty shoot-out defeat to Linfield, is still looked back on with pride.

And Mitchell admits the class of 2017 are desperate to create their own slice of history.

"To get to an Irish Cup final would be absolutely fantastic and hopefully, come the first week in May, we will be playing in the final," he added.

"But we can't get ahead of ourselves. We have, hopefully, two games - we have Warrenpoint and then a semi-final.

"We can't get too far ahead, we can't look beyond Saturday.

"We have to work really, really hard, put in a good performance and try and get into the next round."

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph