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Swifts close to being fighting fit for Carrick clash: McAree

 

By Adrian Rutherford

Dungannon Swifts boss Rodney McAree is hoping to have several key players back for tomorrow's showdown with Carrick Rangers.

The Swifts are in the midst of an injury crisis and were without half their first team against Crusaders on Tuesday night.

Goalkeeper Andy Coleman, defenders Christopher Hegarty, David Armstrong and Liam McMenamin, and winger Paul McElroy were among the absentees.

Such were the problems that McAree was forced to play Dermot McCaffrey, now on the club's coaching staff, against the Crues.

McCaffrey, still registered as a player, last appeared for the first team in April 2016.

McAree is optimistic that some of the injured will be back for tomorrow's game.

"I'm hoping Liam McMenamin will be back and that Christopher Hegarty and David Armstrong won't be too far away," he said. "Andy Coleman has an ankle ligament problem and might be a couple of weeks yet."

Dungannon lost 4-0 against Crusaders on Tuesday. They were outclassed in a one-sided match, but McAree is keen to quickly move on.

"We've got to pick ourselves up and go again," he added. "Saturday is a bigger and more important match.

"You look at the week - Crusaders on the Tuesday night and Carrick on the Saturday, and for us Carrick is the bigger game.

"But we've got to get bodies back and get them on the pitch. We are probably far away off our starting XI.

"We have a lot of good players and a lot of people who can fill in holes, but for us to do well over the course of the season we need more players back on the park."

Carrick, who sit second bottom, beat Dungannon when the sides met last month.

McAree added: "It's a different type of game to Tuesday because everybody expects us to get something, probably to win it.

"It's going to be difficult. Carrick are not a bad side and have turned us over once this season."

Belfast Telegraph

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