Irish Premiership: Dungannon Swifts look to continue winning form

Andy Mitchell
Andy Mitchell bagged a double in the Swifts' 2-1 win over Cliftonville at Solitude last week

Dungannon Swifts will try to make it three league wins in a row by ending their dismal away record against Linfield at Windsor Park on Saturday.

The Swifts have never won at Linfield in 13 seasons in the top division.

Rodney McAree's side have seen off Coleraine and Cliftonville after suffering back-to-back Premiership defeats by Glentoran and Ards.

Defender Chris Hegarty is an injury doubt after picking up a hip problem before last week's win over the Reds.

McAree is eagerly awaiting the return to fitness of Paul McElroy, who should be back in first-team action soon after being missing since the New Year.

"We have more strength in depth about the squad now so having a few players missing isn't maybe as much a worry as it would have been in the past," said McAree.

Healy wants more from Blues

Linfield sent out a message to their title rivals with a thumping 4-0 victory over Glenavon last weekend, after draws with Crusaders and Coleraine, but manager David Healy is still demanding more from his players.

"If we are going to challenge our title rivals, we still need to be more clinical and ruthless in front of goal," said Healy, who has added New Zealand striker Kris Bright to his striking options.

"People doubted whether Sammy Clingan could play but I knew he could play - he has proved that he is more than capable of playing at this level at least. He will make us tick and keep the ball," said Healy.

Mallards target first win of the season

Cliftonville travel to Ballinamallard, having secured just one win from their opening four matches of the campaign and having lost their last two fixtures against Glenavon and Dungannon Swifts.

Reds manager Gerard Lyttle will have new signing Ruairi Harkin in the squad after recovering from a knee strain, while Chris Ramsey and Jason McGuinness are also available.

"I don't care where our opponents are in the table or what results they have had since the start of the season - if we go down there expecting an easy game or thinking we don't have to give our very best, we'll get shown up," said Lyttle.

"We need to treat every game and every opponent the same. You can't disrespect any team, otherwise you end up with performances and results like last week's against Dungannon," he added.

The Mallards welcome Lyttle's side to Ferney Park as they seek a first win over the Reds in 15 attempts, having lost 14 of those encounters.

"We have a young team and we know they will make mistakes but the players will learn and get better as the season progresses," said boss Gavin Dykes after the Fermanagh side clinched their first point away to Carrick last week.

Crues chasing three points

Champions Crusaders hope to get back to winning ways, after drawing their last two games, against a Portadown side who lost 1-0 in their last two outings against Glentoran and Ards.

"Every game we play this season is going to be a tough one. Whoever we play, teams are out to challenge us because we have won the title for the last two years.

"We have to be on our mettle every single game, nothing is going to be given to us easy and we will have to work for everything we get," said Crues manager Stephen Baxter.

Danske Bank Irish Premiership - Saturday 27 August, 15:00 BST kick-offs
Ballinamallard UnitedvCliftonville
LinfieldvDungannon Swifts