DERGVIEW will have the opportunity to pull out of the bottom two of the Bluefin Sport Championship tomorrow when they host fellow strugglers PSNI at Darragh Park.
The North Tyrone outfit stopped the rot of five defeats with a draw at Ballyclare Comrades last weekend but remain second bottom, three points ahead of Knockbreda and two behind the police who have played a game more.
Like Dergview, the PSNI have been on a poor run recently although in stark contrast to their opponents they have been shipping goals at an alarming rate.
In 18 games the Newforge Lane outfit have conceded 58 goals and that’s something the Derg men will be bidding to exploit.
In November the police recorded a 5-3 victory over Queens but were defeated 6-0 by Loughgall United, 5-0 by Ballinamallard and 4-1 at home to HW Welders.
Against Ballyclare Ivan Sproule’s charges created a number of opportunities while keeping things tight at the back. According to Sproule’s assistant Neil Coulter getting the balance right between defence and attack will be key if Dergview are to pull clear of the relegation zone.
“We were very happy with the performance at Ballyclare,” he said.
“The main thing was to stop the rot of five defeats and in doing that we created a lot more opportunities.
“We offered much more threat going forward yet kept it solid at the back. There wasn’t maybe a lot between the sides but in terms of clear-cut chances we created considerably more.”
Coulter insisted last Saturday’s result was something solid to build on and he said the players would be working hard to translate that into a winning display against the police.
While the assistant manager sees the game against the PSNI as a “must win” he says his team must approach the game in the right manner.
“It’s a home game and we’ll be looking nothing less than three points,” he continued.
“We’ll stick with the same shape which suits the personnel we have. A few weeks ago we changed the shape against HW Welders and it backfired on us, we won’t be making that mistake again.
“In this league you can’t afford to go too gong-ho because the teams are of a certain quality that you’ll get punished. Teams may be there for the taking but you have to make sure and keep things tight at the other end.
“The police score a lot of goals but on the flip side they concede a lot. They are the complete opposite to ourselves. We actually have the sixth best defensive record in the league but our problem is we don’t score enough.
“If we can get the lead in a game then we’d be confident of securing a positive result because we are fairly solid defensively.”
In terms of team news for tomorrow’s proverbial six-pointer, Simon McGlynn looks like he’ll be suspended having picked up his quota of five yellow cards although on a postive note Mattie Buchanan will come back into the squad having served a similar ban last week.
And there was further good news for Dergview this week in that midfielder Graham Young had returned to training following injury. Providing he can prove his fitness he may well be back in the reckoning come Saturday.
Last weekend it was the returning Damien McNulty who headed Dergview into a first half lead from a Gareth Doherty free kick but a goal by Jordan Malone secured a point for the home side.
The visitors created a number of opportunities before that equaliser with McGlynn squandering a good chance as well as having an effort chalked off for offside. Philip Wallace also flashed an effort wide of a post.