Ferguson warns United players against slacking after Shield success

Gary Olphert, Manager of Robinsons Nisa Extra, Cullybackey Road, presents Sales and Marketing Executive Brian Thompson with a match ball for Ballymena United's home match against Carrick Rangers.
Gary Olphert, Manager of Robinsons Nisa Extra, Cullybackey Road, presents Sales and Marketing Executive Brian Thompson with a match ball for Ballymena United's home match against Carrick Rangers.

Glenn Ferguson has warned his Ballymena United players there will be no slacking after their County Antrim Shield triumph.

The Sky Blues are back in action tonight (Tuesday) as they host Carrick Rangers in a Danske Bank Premiership match postponed from Saturday because of a frozen pitch.

“The last time we won the Shield we put in a really poor performance at Donegal Celtic in our next match and our form dipped between then and the end of that season,” said Ferguson.

“I have stressed to the players that is not going to be allowed to happen this time.

“It will be good to get back into action again and I’m glad the Carrick game was rescheduled so quickly, otherwise we would be playing Linfield in three successive games.

“It’s not unrealistic to suggest we can catch Portadown or Glentoran, both of whom have been struggling a wee bit for form recently, but we have to try to put together a run of results ourselves.

“We have shown again that we can compete with the likes of Linfield but what we have to do is show we can produce the same level of performance against all the teams, and on a more consistent basis.

“The very first thing we have to do is focus on the Carrick match and try to pick up three points,” said Ferguson, who will be without Shield final goal hero Eoin Kane, who has work commitments. However, defender Johnny Taylor is available for selection after missing the Shield final through suspension.

After tonight’s game, United are at home to Linfield on Saturday (3pm) - the sides’ fourth meeting in just over a month.