DERGVIEW boss Richard Clarke has told his players to forget about league position and focus solely on producing a performance over 90 minutes.
A few weeks back the Castlederg outfit hit the Championship One summit after the 9-0 trouncing of Annagh United.
Since then though the Darragh Park outfit have been defeated by Ballyclare Comrades at home and drawn 1-1 at both Institute and the PSNI.
The Derg side is currently fourth, four points adrift of league leaders Warrenpoint Town. Clarke feels his team should have won both drawn games and ahead of today’s trip to Lurgan Celtic has urged his players to get back to enjoying the game.
“We are going there with confidence but I think the players need to get back to enjoying the game a bit more,” said Clarke.
“We had a wee sticky patch there, the Ballyclare game aside the other two games we should have won.
“There are no alarm bells ringing but we need to improve our play and composure on the ball and try and dominate teams again. With our added pace it’s a different challenge for us now.
Teams are happy to sit in and deny us the space, soak up pressure and hit us on the break.
“We have to be a bit more patient, keep the ball, especially when we have the lead in the match and try and suck these teams out. Hopefully we can be better in possession and make the other teams work. We have more than enough firepower if we can do that.”
This afternoon Dergview face a Celtic side, which has had a mixed start to the new season.Clarke knows better than most that Knockramer Park is never an easy place to go, especially as Celtic will be smarting after a stoppage-time goal denied the Lurgan Hoops a share of the spoils at Institute last time out.
Dergview will travel without attacker Aaron Arkinson, who stands suspended after being sent off against the police, but that apart Clarke has a full deck at his disposal.
“Lurgan Celtic will be dangerous opponents, they had a great season last year and after poor enough start look like they are again a force to be reckoned with.
“These days teams in the Championship are well organised and set-up and are usually hard to beat on their own patch. You just hope that the team is well enough prepared and have the confidence to go and break these teams down. We also have to defend better, we’ve got into a habit of conceding soft goals although Saturday’s was clearly offside!
“There are things to improve on but we’re optimistic and going there to get the win.”
There was one other piece of good news for Clarke this week in that Richard Lecky played 45 minutes in a friendly against an Ulster Senior League select on Tuesday night. The towering striker hasn’t played in over a year.
Posted: 8:15 am October 15, 2016