Sproule: Players must take more responsibility

Darren Beattie


Darren Beattie



IVAN Sproule has asked his struggling Dergview players to take on more responsibility as the club strives to turn around a worrying run of nine straight losses.

Saturday's 3-1 home defeat to Dundela sees the Darragh Park-outfit slip to ninth in the Championship table, only two points ahead of basement side Ballinamallard United.

And Sproule - who admits beating the drop will be a "real fight" - has called on his players to "look at themselves in the mirror".

"I think Saturday was [a fair result]. With the run we have been on, the mistakes are repeating themselves," he said.

"Again, just like last week, we ended up taking the lead. It was a good move, and at that stage there wasn't much in it.

"We were in the ascendancy, we won a corner and made a number of mistakes to concede a very sloppy equaliser. That goal probably sums up the season as a whole - we had the chance to hold onto something, but we have let it go.

"We asked a few questions after the restart, but not enough. Again, Dundela broke free down the right and got crosses in too easily. We never covered around the back posts - basic errors.

"When you are playing the team second in the Championship and you make so many silly mistakes and don’t make them work very hard for their goals, well you aren't going to win games."

Sproule continued: "I can't be too judgemental at the moment because the only two training sessions I took were last weel, but certainly players are going to have to start taking responsibility.

"It was never going to be a quick-fix. There was no way I was going to arrive in, after the team had lost seven on the bounce, and all of a sudden start winning seven games in a row.

"There is hard work to be done, and I will certainly be working my hardest, along with the coaches and staff, to get things right, but I think it's about time some players stepped it up as well.

"As a player, when you go home in the evenings, you have to assess and ask yourself: 'was I good enough?'. Are some players committing themselves enough to the club?  These are questions I asked myself when I was playing.

"There are issues here - you don't lose nine games in a row without there being problems, whether it was the structure of the team or desire of the players. I have only been in the club a week, and I choose my words carefully, but players are going to have to look at themselves in the mirror.

"I can pass on information, put out the coaching and organise them from corners, but when you cross that white line it is over to the players. The players have a responsibility to themselves and their team mates, so you have to produce and perform to your maximum, and at the minute I don't think I have enough players performing to their maximum ability just yet.

"We are in a relegation battle. This is going to be a real fight to stay in the league. To lose nine games in a row, although it's not the business end of the season, it's relegation form.

“The big word is ‘desire’ - and from now until January, I have to see players show desire and hunger and a will to put the shirt on for Dergview, and if I don’t see that they won’t be wearing the shirt after January.”

Dergview were missing a host of players for the defeat, including Blaine Burns, Lee McNulty, Paul Smith, Simon McGlynn, but it is hoped Sproule will have a larger pool of players to choose from at HW Welders on Saturday.

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