‘No chance’ of top six if poor defending persists - McAree

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

DUNGANNON Swifts manager Rodney McAree was less than impressed by his team's defending as they capitulated to a 4-1 defeat at home to an uninspired Linfield.

After a promising opening 45 minutes, which finished level at 1-1, the Swifts' defence went AWOL in the second half.

And Rodney says his team has "absolutely no chance" of climbing into the top six if their defending doesn't improve.

Speaking to the Courier post match, Rodney said: "It's very frustrating because we haven't made it difficult enough for Linfield to win the game. We controlled the first half, we were the better side by a long way.

"In the second half we had a lot of ball and continued to play football, but the ball comes into our box three times in the second half and it ends up in the back of the net each time.

"We have absolutely no chance of getting in the top six if we keep conceding goals like the way we did today.

"We went to Ballymena a couple of weeks ago, we did really well for the first half and then we conceded bad goals in the second half.

“So it's frustrating, but that side of it has to improve if we have any ambitions of going any further."

Rodney admitted that, despite playing decent football for spells, they didn't deserve anything from the game.

"It's a game of keeping the ball out of your own net and putting it in the opposition's and we haven't kept it out of ours so we deserve to lose the game.

"They were extremely soft goals. The first one of the second half was far too easy. They play it down our left side and we allowed them to get into an area; some players think it's offside but it shouldn't get that far, it shouldn't be allowed to get to our byline.

"The second goal is a shambles, nobody takes control of the situation and the third goal we haven't switched on to the second ball, we stand on the edge of the six yard box and they've reacted quicker than us.

"You were optimistic for the second half but you expect Linfield to come out with a response or up their game and I don't even think they did that, I don't think they had to do that, with what we gifted them."

As reported by the Courier last week, Andrew Mitchell signed a pre-contract deal with Glenavon for next season, bringing to an end a lengthy transfer saga surrounding the league's top goalscorer, who picked up an ankle injury during Saturday's defeat.

"I think we all knew he was going to leave at the end of the season but thankfully that's over and we can just focus on the here and now.

"Hopefully he's not going to be out for too long and we can look forward to the rest of the season with him."

Up next is an Irish Cup sixth round clash with leading Mid-Ulster League side Dollingstown, and Rodney says the Swifts will not be taking their foot off the pedal.

"It's a break from the league," says Rodney.

"It's one that we'll not take lightly or underestimate. We've had Dollingstown watched a couple of times, so we'll go about our business in the correct manner."


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