Ferguson faces crunch decisions for Shield test

Glenn Ferguson hopes his Ballymena United players can respond quickly to Saturday's defeat by Glenavon in Tuesday's Toals County Antrim Shield quarter-final at Cliftonville. Picture: Press Eye.
Glenn Ferguson hopes his Ballymena United players can respond quickly to Saturday's defeat by Glenavon in Tuesday's Toals County Antrim Shield quarter-final at Cliftonville. Picture: Press Eye.

Ballymena United manager Glenn Ferguson admits he has big decisions to make to address his side’s current slump in form.

The Sky Blues travel to Cliftonville tonight (Tuesday, 7.45pm) in the quarter-final of the Toals County Antrim Shield, still smarting from Saturday’s 4-1 league reverse by Glenavon.

High on the manager’s list of decisions will be whether to retain Dwayne Nelson after the goalkeeper’s error which gifted Glenavon their third goal.

“Because of Stuart Addis’ injury there has been no pressure on Dwayne this season,” said Ferguson.

“He says that’s nothing to do with it, I don’t agree with that. Players need to be on their toes because they know there’s someone breathing down their neck.

“Stuarty is now fit so Dwayne will be looking over his shoulder as will every other player who played at the weekend.

“Cliftonville is another challenge that we have to take on. If our players can’t do it against the champions, and we seem to raise our game in those type of matches, then the players have problems in terms of how to win games and ultimately, then, I’ve got a problem.”

Ferguson has Johnny Taylor and Mark Surgenor available after suspension, while Tony Kane returns after missing Saturday’s match because of a family wedding.

* Seven Towers Supporters’ Club transport for Solitude leaves Henry Street car park at 6.45pm, while the bus for Saturday’s game at Glentoran departs at 2pm.