Glenn Ferguson has warned the axe is hanging over his Ballymena United players as they prepare for Saturday’s “massive” ‘derby’ clash with Coleraine at the Warden Street Showgrounds (3pm).
The manager’s patience may well have run out after the Sky Blues’ 4-0 weekend defeat at Glentoran continued a demoralising sequence of recent results.
“If players can’t lift their will, their desire, their attitude in a local ‘derby’ they shouldn’t be playing at this level - they should be down the park kicking a ball with their mates and going for a pint on a Friday night,” Ferguson told Times Sport.
“If they can’t get themselves up to want to put themselves on the line against Coleraine, I’m in trouble because that’s a group of players that I have signed or re-signed.
“I’ve put my faith in then and now it’s for some of them to repay that faith.
“If they don’t, January is only round the corner and some of them can go if they want, if they’re not happy with my philosophy and how I want to win football games.
Coleraine is a massive game. They are on the up and in the ascendancy and we will need to put in a big performance.
Ferguson is without suspended duo Johnny Taylor and Tony Kane, while Taylor will also undergo a precautionary scan this week on a recurrence of the knee injury which sidelined him for much of the 2012-13 season.
Left-back Stephen McBride is also likely to be missing for a couple of weeks through injury but midfielder Gary Thompson is fit again.