Belfast Telegraph

Strugglers will get no favours from Swifts: Lindsay

Full focus: Kris Lindsay has demanded a strong finish
Full focus: Kris Lindsay has demanded a strong finish

By Steven Beacom

Dreams of playing in Europe next season may be over for Dungannon Swifts but manager Kris Lindsay insists his players won't be approaching their final two games against Ards and Newry City in 'holiday camp' fashion.

Lindsay is determined that Dungannon deliver professional performances in both matches - not just for the good of his own team but also the integrity of the Danske Bank Premiership, with both opponents fighting relegation.

First up for Dungannon is a trip to face Ards in Bangor tonight, followed by another away game against Newry on Saturday.

The pair have the same number of points with two fixtures left but Warren Feeney's men are ahead thanks to a better goal difference of two.

Whoever finishes bottom will go down to the Championship, with the 11th placed side entering a play-off against either Carrick Rangers or Portadown.

Lindsay was disappointed to lose 5-3 to Warrenpoint at the weekend, meaning Dungannon's chances of finishing seventh and claiming a European play-off place are done and dusted, but the Swifts boss says the season is far from over for the Tyrone outfit.

"It was an uphill task to qualify for Europe and that was put to bed at the weekend but, as I said to the boys after the Warrenpoint game, if they think they are on their holidays in the last two games they have another thing coming," stated Lindsay.

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"I've been saying since I came in to this job earlier in the season we have to be more clinical and must stop conceding sloppy goals. We haven't and keep making poor decisions, so we have a big job on our hands.

"The league is going to be even more competitive next season with Larne coming up and talk about Glentoran going full-time, so it will be very tough and we need to learn and learn quickly. If players want to come along for the journey then I'll stand with them, and if they don't, they don't.

"These last two games aren't holiday camps. This is a chance for boys to prove to me they want to be with us and are prepared to put in the graft that will be required to hit the ground running in August.

"We are down to the bare bones squad-wise with injuries and suspensions but, to be fair to Ards and Newry, we will be approaching both games in a professional manner.

"It's up to us to go out and try to win games of football. That's how I approach every game and that will be no different on Tuesday and Saturday."

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