United can bounce back quickly from first defeat, says McCullagh

Ballymena United defender Mark McCullagh clears the danger from Glenavon's Andy McGrory during Friday night's match at Mourneview Park. Picture: Press Eye.
Ballymena United defender Mark McCullagh clears the danger from Glenavon's Andy McGrory during Friday night's match at Mourneview Park. Picture: Press Eye.

Mark McCullagh is confident that Ballymena United will respond quickly and positively to the club’s first setback of the season.

The full-back believes the Sky Blues can re-establish their winning form after losing for the first time at Glenavon on Friday night.

“It was a quite incredible game,” admitted the Randalstown man.

“We probably under-performed given our recent standards but in saying that, we could have scored five or six on another day.

“There were some ludicrous decisions, not least the corner which led to Glenavon’s second goal

“Instead of being one-mil down and chasing the game we were two down and had a mountain to climb - all from a corner that never was.

“But we have to look at ourselves as well, we had chances to win the game and then we conceded two corners, albeit one of them shouldn’t have been given.

“We had scored more goals than anybody else before the weekend and you could see again against Glenavon why that has been the case.

“You can’t fault David Cushley - he has been outstanding and the fact he is creating as many chances as he is shows how well he’s been playing

“He’s like a Duracell bunny, he just keeps going and he won’t let it get on top of him and let his head drop in the way other players might.

For McCullagh, the start of the season has been a breath of fresh air after his Showgrounds career faltered in the latter part of the previous campaign.

“I had an incredibly disappointing end to last season. I fell away out of the squad, missed the cup final and I didn’t really know where I stood at that stage.

“But fate is a strange thing and Jim Ervin was unfortunate to suffer a serious injury and Tony Kane was suspended following the cup final so it gave me an opportunity to come in at right-back.

“I don’t think I did myself too many favours with my performance at Glenavon but I have to keep working hard to keep my place as I’m sure Tony Kane will have his thoughts on breaking back into the team again at my expense.

“The squad is so competitive now, all around the pitch, but Glenn has emphasised that if you’re doing the business, you’ll stay in the team - it’s something that works well for the players as well as the manager.

“We’ve been up around the table since the start of the season so we’re obviously doing something right,” added McCullagh.