STAND-IN Dergview skipper Mattie Buchanan insists his team must remain positive as they prepare to lock horns with HW Welders in a crunch Bluefin Sport Championship game at Darragh Park later today.
Last weekend Ivan Sproule’s charges were left cursing their luck after going down 2-0 to league leaders Portadown.
Simon McGlynn and Garth Falconer both hit the crossbar before a Lee Bonis strike and an own goal in the final moments secured all three points for Matthew Tipton’s side.
That result saw the Derg men slip to ninth in the table but Buchanan, who is wearing the armband in the absence of the injured Blaine Burns, said he and his players are continuing to look upwards.
“I still believe we can push for a top six. One set of results on any given weekend can make a massive difference,” said the accomplished defender.
“Every team is capable of beating any other, it’s a crazy league. We need to keep the heads down and take it game by game. Personally I think we have slipped up a couple of times this season and if we can nick a result on Saturday then we are starting to look up again.
“It’s a derby (against Ballinamallard) the weekend after that and as everyone knows anything can happen in that.
“The important thing is to remain positive, you can’t allow the odd result to get you down. If you go into games as a beaten team then you will end up fighting relegation, it’s as simple as that.
“That’s one thing about Ivan (Sproule) he keeps preaching to us about looking up.”
Last time out Dergview and the Welders shared the spoils in a 2-2 draw at the Belfast venue and on that occasion Sproule felt his team had left the points behind after failing to convert a number of excellent chances.
Buchanan agreed and is relishing setting the record straight this weekend.
“Away to the Welders is no easy task, plenty of teams went there this season and got beat, like Portadown did a few weeks back,” he added.
“We gave them their full of it up there and created quite a few chances by getting in behind them.
“But two lapses in concentration also cost us, two sloppy mistakes. On a different day we could have secured maximum points.
“Hopefully we can put that right at home. Darragh Park should suit us better and our home record is decent. The bigger pitch should allow us to get at them more.
“Welders are a big strong team and they play a lot through their big centre forward. If we can get the ball wide early and cause them problems like we did up there, hopefully that will play into out hands.”
Reflecting on the disappointing defeat at Portadown, the defender admitted that the first goal was always likely to be key to the final outcome.
“On the day I thought we matched Portadown man for man across the pitch,” he added.
“We hit the bar twice and if those chances go in for you then it’s a different game. Sometimes it boils down to a wee bit of luck. If you score one of those goals and you go into the break one up then you have something to hang on to.
“Then the game opens up for you and you can use your pace on the wings and stuff on the counter when the opposition comes at you.
“When they went 1-0 up with 10 minutes remaining, it was an uphill battle then to break them down.
“The first goal can be so important, especially against those so called bigger sides.”