Glenn Ferguson hopes the possibility of staying top of the Danske Bank Premiership can provide added incentive for his Ballymena United players.
The Sky Blues are one of four teams tied for top spot after eight rounds of matches and Ferguson is hoping his side can maintain their lofty position as they prepare for the first ‘derby’ clash of the season at Coleraine this Saturday (3pm).
“The league table is great, much better than one team running away with it,” said Ferguson.
“Every week now you know that if you pick up points, you have a chance of being top of the league and every other manager whose team is in that position will be telling his players the same thing.
It’s something we have to build on this Saturday but it is a completely different type of game.
It’s often said in these ‘derby’ games but form really does go out the window and Coleraine had a great win at Cliftonville at the weekend.”
Skipper Allan Jenkins is automatically suspended after his second red card of the season in Saturday’s 2-2 draw with Glentoran, but David Cushley is expected to be fit after a hip flexor injury.
Alan Davidson is back in full training after an ankle ligament injury but veteran defender Davy Munster faces a month on the sidelines after cracking a bone in his foot.
Meanwhile, Fergsuon has backed regular penalty taker Alan Teggart after his miss in last weekend’s draw with Glentoran.
“We’re not going to criticise him. For some reason he changed the side he normally takes his penalties to - maybe they had done their homework and he thought Aaron Hogg was going to go that way.
“But he has the bravery to stand up and take them every time they come along and if he has the courage to stand up and take the next one, I’m not going to take them off him,” added Ferguson.
* Seven Towers Supporters’ Club transport to Saturday’s match leaves Henry Street car park at 2pm and the club’s Joker promotion will be drawn prior to departure.
* A limited number of tables are still available for United’s first corporate dinner of the season on Saturday, September 27. Contact Don Stirling on 07802814733 for more details.