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Sproule encouraged by performance against Ballyclare

DERGVIEW supremo Ivan Sproule felt his side were good value for a point against free-scoring Ballyclare Comrades at Darragh Park on Saturday of last week.

Comrades led through an early Sammy McIlveen free kick but in the second half the hosts cranked it up and Marc McConnell with his first competitive goal secured a precious point.

Sproule insisted it was just reward and was delighted that McConnell had got off the mark.

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“It was a hard earned point,” he said.

“On the back of a dismal performance against Loughgall United in midweek, we were looking a reaction.

“We were playing a team that had hit HW Welders for eight goals in midweek. They were one of the form teams, we took a look at them and we knew their strengths.

“We nullified their wing play, and restricted them to a few chances. We didn’t maybe won the battle in midfield how I would have liked but I think the lads put in a great shift and were deserving of the point.

“I was delighted for Marc as well. He’s a new player who has come to the club and he’s probably still working out how we play.

“I have been trying to get him to make those forward runs instead of coming to feet as often. He’s a very comfortable player on the ball and he’s good in tight areas.

“He made those runs today and got a very valuable goal for his team.”

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The draw means Dergview have just four points from four games as they now look ahead to away trip to Queens on today.

Sproule admitted that it had been a frustrating start to the season but thought there were a few encouraging signs against Ballyclare and was delighted with the performance of new signing Damien McNulty at the heart of the defence.

“Football is dog eat dog and if you are not willing to fight for it you’ll not get anything,” he continued.

“There were a few harsh words said again. The changing room has been a bit of a hostile place in the first four games.

“We are a team going through something of a transition at the minute. We are trying to integrate new players into the system and it’s going to take time.

“The players are going to have to patient. They are frustrated, I’m frustrated because we know we can do better.

“Big D came in today and he was absolutely superb. He was starting attacks, getting the ball out from his feet.

“He was organising and conducting, he’s played at a higher level before and he’s certainly not a shrinking violet, he’s got a voice in the changing room. That’s something I want to see more of around the team

“He’ll dig people out when they need to be and I’ll dig him out if he needs to be. That’s how it works in there.

“Queen’s away is another massive game but every game is massive now.

“As I say to the players in the changing room, you can’t just turn up one week and not the next. You have got to turn up every week, the best teams do that, the best players do that and we’ll certainly be going up the road to get a positive result.

“That said we know anything we do get, we’re going to have to work for it.”

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