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All that’s left is a bit of Quakers’ pride to play for
DARLINGTON make the trek to Newport County today with pride more important that points, believes interim manager Craig Liddle.
The match against 19th placed Newport could have been significant to Quakers, but throwing away a two-goal lead at home to Bath means Darlington are relegated with three games to play.
Following this evening’s match, Liddle’s side are at Forest Green Rovers on Saturday before bringing the season to a close on April 28 at home to Kettering.
“The players have got to go out and play with some pride for themselves and for the football club,” said Liddle, whose team begin the 540-mile round trip from The Northern Echo Arena this morning.
“The last three games about the players’ personal pride and the club’s pride.
“This club means an awful lot to me so the one thing that I demand is that they give everything that they’ve got for the shirt.”
The final three matches give Liddle an opportunity to hand more opportunities to teenage talents such as David Ferguson who enjoyed a solid game at the Arena on Saturday.
The 17-year-old youth team product had made one previous start, at Mansfield in February, and Liddle says he is one of many being monitored by other clubs.
Liddle said: “He’s an excellent prospect and one that’s got a bright future, whether it’s here or somewhere else.
“I’m not going to name names, but there are clubs interested in David so he may have decisions to make in the summer.
“He’s tough, he’s strong, he’s quick and he’s got good quality on the ball so he’s got a lot going for him.
He’s not the tallest but he wins his fair share of headers.”
Darlington’s three substitutes on Saturday included wingers Danny Lambert and Jamie Barton, the latter of which teed up Quakers’ second goal on Saturday, and they could be involved this evening.
“A lot of the youngsters have been getting watched,” added Liddle. “I get phone calls from clubs wanting to know who is playing.
“Sometimes it’s easy to forget that these are teenagers playing in a man’s game so it’s credit to them and speaks volumes for them as players and individuals.
“There’ll be one or two who get offers higher up the league ladder.”
Newport, managed by Justin Edinburgh, drew 1- 1 at play-off hopefuls York City on Saturday and need only one more point to secure league safety.
Should Darlington fail to take the points this evening they would equal the club’s longest sequence of 19 matches without a league win, a record set in 1988.
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