Warrenpoint and Dungannon both daring to dream

Warrenpoint Town manager Matthew Tipton may have one eye on the Irish Cup semi-finals but is also taking a long-term look going into the trip to tackle top-flight Dungannon Swifts.

Tipton has described the Dungannon hosts as a template for his Championship leaders and is open in his admiration for Swifts boss Rodney McAree and the established senior outfit.

“We will go into the match dreaming of the semi-finals and have worked really hard but it is also another opportunity to test our progress in terms of the future,” said Tipton. “Rodney has them set up as a good team that plays the game in an exciting way, so, looking down the line, we want to see how far away we are from Dungannon and show what we can do now.

“We can take confidence from four clean sheets in a row and league momentum but also results against senior clubs already this season in cup ties.”

McAree is aware of the visitors’ pedigree but also harbours dreams of cup progress 10 years on from scoring for his hometown club in the final.

“It’s certainly not going to be easy, Warrenpoint have made things difficult for every Premiership team they have played,” he said. “It’s favourable in terms of a home draw but it’s going to be extremely difficult.

“It’s 10 years since we played in the final but to do it again, we obviously have to make the semi-finals first.

“Everybody, myself included, has personal ambitions and I really want to achieve something special with Dungannon Swifts.”