GLENN Ferguson has demanded an immediate response from his Ballymena United players after Saturday’s 5-1 humiliation at Crusaders.
United’s topsy-turvy season hit another dip at Seaview as they conceded four or more goals in a match for the FIFTH time this season.
The manager is prepared to ring the changes for this Friday evening’s Danske Bank Premiership match at home to Donegal Celtic (7.45pm) – the match brought forward as a result of the Irn Bru League Cup final taking priority on Saturday.
The manager’s first task will be to shore up his rearguard, which sees Chris Rodgers as the only fit central defender after Davy Munster limped off on Saturday.
“We’re still looking to get a centre-half in,” said Ferguson..
“Aaron Stewart and Johnny Taylor – two centre-halves who would probably play – are out injured and Denver Gage is trying to regain match fitness after being out for a year.
“Davy Munster picked up a thigh strain on Saturday and we don’t know how long he’ll be out for, so we’re really down to the bare bones in the centre of defence.
“It’s a squad game and you just have to put in who you have left but if we can get someone in before the end of the week, we’ll do it. If not, we’ll just have to go with what we have.”
Ferguson has backed his playes to respond at home to DC, who have yet to win an away league game this season, with one of their three draws on the road coming at Ballymena in September, where the west Belfast side spurned a 3-0 lead at one stage.
“We’ve had heavy defeats before this season and responded positively and we will want to do that again.
“We’ve asked for consistency and if it doesn’t happen then we’ll have to make changes and it’s my responsibility to do that.
“I was a player for a long number of years and when something like that happens you want the next game to come quickly to put it right.
“The boys who are selected for Friday night will have to chance to do that.but whoever is selected will have to play a hell of a lot better than we did on Saturday,” added Ferguson.
The manager hopes to have Shane Dolan available after the striker missed Saturday’s game with a groin injury, but midfielder Gavin Taggart remains sidelined as he completes a two-game suspension.
* United’s Irish Cup home tie against Coleraine next month will NOT be all-ticket, with admission payable at the turnstile on the day.
* The club has appointed George Dillon, a retired Civil Servant and lifelong Ballymena United supporter as Company Secretary in succession to Neil Coleman, who stepped down from the position due to work commitments.