Tennent’s Irish Cup: Cliftonville v Dungannon Swifts

Dungannon Swifts manager Kris Lindsay.
Dungannon Swifts manager Kris Lindsay.

Dungannon Swifts boss Kris Lindsay wants his boys to take their impressive form into Saturday’s Irish Cup tie against erratic Cliftonville at Solitude.

The Swifts claimed a fantastic 4-2 win over Glenavon at the Oval on New Year’s Day.

Lindsay said: “The league is our bread and butter, that is our priority . . . we want to get away from the bottom two places and we took a tiny step to achieving that on Tuesday.

“We need to continue to do that. We’ll go to Solitude and give it a blast.

“The pressure of getting league points will be off, so we can play with a bit of freedom.

“We must go there and produce the same work rate, commitment and passion. If we do that, we’ll have a chance.”

Lindsay was delighted with the performance of Daniel Hughes against Glenavon.

“I’m delighted Daniel got on the score sheet. He’s had a hard time with injuries. He’s been in the team for the last couple of weeks and he starting to get his sharpness back,” he said.

“When he is on top of his game, he’s a dangerous, dangerous player as we seen at the Oval.

“We were excellent all over the pitch. We had a lot of quality all over the park – it was a great way to start the new year.”

Lindsay was thrilled with his team’s contribution overall.

“We were all down in the dumps after Saturday’s result when beaten at home by Ards, so we had a chat and decided to get back to the basics,” said the former Linfield and Glenavon defender.

“It was all down to hard work and commitment. We had to win the individual battles before our quality took over.

“Our energy levels were frightening all over the pitch, starting with Daniel Hughes up front who worked his socks off. It continued right throughout the team.

“When we got in behind Glentoran, we hurt them. We got some great balls into the box and we thoroughly deserved our win.

“We scored our opening goal only two minutes after we conceded – and that was a bonus for us.

“There was nothing in it in the first half, we didn’t deserve to be behind. But we really kicked on in the second half.”

The Swifts chief has also extended the loan deal of young goalkeeper Alex Moore from Linfield until the end of the season.

“I’m delighted with that,” he added. “Stuart Addis played against Glentoran and he wasn’t really fit because hadn’t finalised the arrangement for Alex. We literally had not goalkeepers left.

“Alex is a good goalkeeper and is developing every week. He is going to be a very good goalkeeper.”

Meanwhile, Cliftonville boss Barry Gray is keen to move on after his side lost 4-1 against Coleraine on New Year’s Day.

“It still hurts, but last year is done and dusted we just need to focus on what we need to do this season,” he said.

“It’s a team we’re very familiar with, but we just have to go out and try and get the win.

“Obviously you would have been hoping for one of the junior sides, but so be it,” he added.