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It's not all doom and gloom for Derry boss

By John Campbell

Derry manager Brian McIver has endured more than his fair share of frustration in Division One of the Allianz Football League to date.

His latest outburst came following his team's loss to Mayo on Sunday when Down referee Ciaran Branagan was certainly not flavour of the month at Celtic Park.

Now that round five has been reached it is very much nail-biting time in terms of survival and basement battlers Derry face another huge task when travel to Clones on Sunday to take on Monaghan who stunned Donegal last weekend.

McIver also pinpoints the loss of the inspirational Mark Lynch to a red card against Kerry and a contentious late winner for Tyrone at Healy Park, Omagh as other woes inflicted on his side.

Results may not be favourable but suddenly McIver finds himself confronted by a new-look midfield partnership comprising Mark Craig and Brian Og McGilligan. Craig, an accomplished hurler, had been filling the centre-half-back role of late until he was pushed into the engine-room as partner to the strapping McGilligan whose father Brian snr was an All-Ireland medal winner with the Oak Leaf side as Anthony Tohill's partner.

Now, having started in Derry's last two games against Tyrone and Mayo, the McGilligan-Craig partnership looks destined to flourish further.

"If boys are given an opportunity and show they can take it, then that's what it is all about," points out McIver.

"I have always maintained that there are good players in Derry, it's a question of getting them all available."

Derry: T Mallon; O Duffy, N Holly, D McBride; B McAlarey, K Johnston, S L McGoldrick; M Craig, B Og McGilligan; B Heron, M Lynch, E Lynn; D McKinless, E McGuckin, C McWilliams.

Belfast Telegraph

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