Belfast Telegraph

Swifts will be lifted by the return of talented Hughes, says Lindsay

Back training: Dungannon marksman Daniel Hughes
Back training: Dungannon marksman Daniel Hughes
Adrian Rutherford

By Adrian Rutherford

Dungannon boss Kris Lindsay has said the imminent return of Daniel Hughes will be like a new signing.

The striker has spent most of the season on the sidelines due to a series of injury problems.

He has started just five league games, the last coming in a 2-0 home defeat against Coleraine on November 2.

That day he lasted just six minutes before limping off with an ankle problem, and has not featured since.

However, the 27-year-old trained last week and is close to a return.

Given his fitness issues, Lindsay is reluctant to rush him back, and he is unlikely to feature against Ballymena this afternoon.

"Daniel is back in training, he joined in last week," Lindsay said.

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"We are not going to push him. We can't bring him back too soon and see him pick up another injury. Daniel is an excellent player - he has proved that over a number of years.

"If we can get him fit and firing, it will be like a new signing."

After beating Institute in the Irish Cup last Saturday, the focus returns to league football today.

The Swifts are third from bottom in the league, and have 15 games to secure senior status.

They are five points ahead of Institute and Warrenpoint, but seven behind Carrick Rangers, who sit above them in the table.

Lindsay is reluctant to set any targets as he plots a path away from the danger zone, but admits that results need to improve.

"It is very tight at both ends of the table," he added. "If you can put together a series of results, you can move up the table very quickly. We need points on the board and hopefully we can start that on Saturday."

Lindsay expects a big test against Ballymena, who beat Dungannon 3-2 at the Showgrounds on December 14.

He added: "They are a team in and around us in the table, so it will be a match that we will approach looking to win."

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