DERGVIEW supremo Ivan Sproule insists the last visit to Lakeview Park should be all the motivation his players need going into today’s crunch Championship clash with Loughgall United.
That game was one of Sproule’s first games in charge and ended in 6-0 defeat after defender Lee McNulty had been controversially sent off with the game scoreless around the hour mark.
Thankfully for Dergview and their manager a lot of water has passed on the bridge since then and last time out the Darragh Park outfit hauled themselves out of the bottom two with a fifth league win in a row against the PSNI.
Sproule admitted the previous visit to Lakeview was the low point of the season and stressed that Saturday’s game represented the biggest test for his improving side thus far.
“Everyone knows Loughgall aren’t a bad side and the last time we were there was probably the lowest point since taking over as Dergview manager,” he said.
“It was a 6-0 drubbing and it gave me the motivation to really drive on and push the players and push the club.
“When you get a kick in the teeth it can put you down. You can sulk about it and feel sorry for yourself or you can fight back.
“I believe that was the day when we started fighting back, it was a low point. We need to remind ourselves that we were embarrassed coming off the pitch that day and hopefully that can be put to the side on Saturday.”
Since the turn of the year the Castlederg outfit has defeated the PSNI twice, Ballyclare Comrades, Limavady United and Knockbreda, scoring 13 goals and conceding just twice in the process.
It’s been quite the turnaround but Sproule said he would continue to remind his players the job was far from done.
The former NI international has a clean bill of health for the trip to Armagh with recent signing Emmett McGuckin likely to return to the starting line-up.
“With big Emmett (McGuckin) returning hopefully we’ll be that wee bit stronger and we can go and pick up those three points on Saturday,” continued Sproule.
“One game is as important as the next. Loughgall have had a good run since the split and they are top of the bottom six. They are there on merit, it’s another good test for my boys. I said Ballyclare and Loughgall were the two top sides, given they had just missed out on the top six.
“It’s a good opportunity for us to see where we are. It’s a different kind of challenge for us but more than anything else it’s another three points up for grabs in our battle for survival.”
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