Ballymena United captain Jim Ervin admits the club’s players have to accept responsibility for Glenn Ferguson’s sacking.
Ferguson’s contract was terminated on Monday following a run of five successive defeats in the Danske Bank Premiership.
The 46-year-old guided the Sky Blues to two County Antrim Shield successes during his four years in charge, including January’s thrilling 3-2 final victory over Linfield.
The club also reached the final of the Irish Cup (2014) and League Cup (2015) during his reign, but a lack of progress in the Premiership – the club currently lie ninth in the table – appears to have ultimately cost Ferguson his job.
“At the end of the day, Glenn and his staff have lost their jobs because of the players’ performances on the pitch. We have to take full responsibility. Individually, and as a group, we have let him down,” Ervin said.
“Glenn either signed us or re-signed us, so he put his confidence in the squad to deliver results. And recently we haven’t been doing that.”
Saturday’s 4-2 defeat to Dungannon Swifts proved the final straw for Ballymena’s board, and Ervin admits he can understand the club’s frustration at recent results.
“I can understand that, and also why the fans are frustrated too,” he added.
“But I believe Glenn would have got us out of this rut.
“Glenn helped us win two County Antrim Shields, and we reached a total of four finals under him. That’s more than a lot of other clubs in the Premiership have achieved.
“I think his overall record at the club stands alongside a lot of other previous managers. We are also only three points off Portadown in seventh – which was the position we finished in last season.”
Ervin hopes a new manager will be in place before Ballymena’s next game against Crusaders on March 12, with former Linfield boss David Jeffrey being tipped to step into the breach.
“We have a break this weekend for the Irish Cup, so the club might have someone new in for our game against Crusaders,” Ervin added.
“Hopefully a new manager, whether temporary or permanent, is appointed as soon as possible. As players, we can’t dwell on this – we have to bounce back and try and claim that seventh spot in the table.”