Grimsby Town's Derek Niven hungry for return to action against Dartford
DEREK Niven was frustrated at being forced to sit out Grimsby Town's last outing – but it's left the midfielder hungry for an immediate return to action against Dartford tomorrow.
The tenacious Scot was suspended for the Mariners' 0-0 draw with Newport last weekend after picking up his fifth booking of the season against Gateshead.
But, after serving his one game ban, the 28-year-old is eager to pick up where he left off and re-establish the successful partnership with Craig Disley in Town's engine room.
"It was disappointing to miss out against Newport," he said.
"I was frustrated to have to sit out but that's the way it goes when you pick up a few bookings.
"Hopefully the managers will pick me and I can carry on where I left off before the suspension.
"Me and Craig are both experienced players and we know what it's all about. I feel it's working well in there between us.
"We work hard as a unit to stop teams from getting chances and it seems to be working.
"He is able to get forward a bit more, because I like to sit and break things up – it works well and hopefully that can continue tomorrow."
While Niven admits to knowing little about tomorrow's opponents, he has, like many, been impressed with the speed with which The Darts have adapted to the Blue Square Bet Premier, after winning promotion last year.
And he is anticipating another tough game against a side that currently sit one point – and one place – above Town in the table.
He said: "I think Dartford have had a good start. I don't know that much about them but they've done well and it will be a tough game.
"The fact is they're above us in the league so we want to get at them and get ourselves back up there.
"We've done well against teams towards the top of the table of late and hopefully that will continue tomorrow.
"If we keep ourselves solid and keep winning matches then we'll be where we want to be come the end of the season," he added.
Niven opened the scoring for the Mariners against Gateshead, sending them on their way to a comfortable 3-0 win before receiving his booking on the stroke of half-time.
It was a goal that ended a near two-year drought for the former Chesterfield skipper, who was last on the scoresheet in the Spireites' 2-1 reverse to Burton Albion in November 2010.
And, after opening his account for the Mariners, he hopes it will give him the confidence to offer more of a goal-scoring threat from midfield.
He said: "I've not scored that many of late – the one against Gateshead was my first in about two years – so hopefully that will give me a bit of confidence to get in the box more often and score some more this season.
"As long as the team is winning, that's the main thing.
"We've been winning matches and that breeds confidence around the squad and that's what gets you the wins.
"You've just got to keep believing in yourselves as squad and what you can achieve.
"In the promotion-winning sides that I was involved in, there was always a strong mentality in the squad and we've got that here.
"It's still early days but it's going well.
"We've given ourselves a really good platform to build on for the rest of the season and we've just got to keep that momentum going now."