Ballymena United manager David Jeffrey looked like he had gone 12 rounds with new WBA World champion Carl Frampton after Saturday’s 6-0 defeat to Crusaders on Saturday.
It was a crushing opening day league defeat for the Sky Blues and it was three goals in three minutes in the first half that knocked the stuffing out of the United challenge.
Jeffrey’s side - until the first Crues goal in the 17th minute - had looked compact and solid.
But former Linfield manager Jeffrey says that three goal salvo had his team on the ropes.
“For the first 15 minutes I thought we were very comfortable and I thought we were playing good stuff, And in fact I thought we could have been the better side at that stage.
“And then three goals in as many minutes and there were like three Carl Frampton KO punches.
“To be honest with you, the defending was poor and they didn’t have to work as hard as they should have to score the three goals.
“And you have got to say it as it is and we capitulated.”
And Jeffrey thought his side should have got on the scoresheet in the second half.
“We created three to four good chances in the second half but we failed to score.
“And I have said to the players at the end. That is a very harsh footballing lesson in how not to defend and how to take your chances. It’s as simple as that.”
And Jeffrey admitted it will take time for all the new signings to gel at the club.
“We know the mountain we have to climb and I am well aware of the size of the job here. We had to make changes and we have done that but it will take time.”