Ballymena United manager Glenn Ferguson doesn’t believe Crusaders will take tomorrow’s trip to the Showgrounds lightly.
The visit of the champions to the Warden Street venue pits together two of the Danske Bank Premiership’s most in-form sides, with Ballymena unbeaten in their last seven games in all competitions, while Crusaders haven’t tasted defeat since the opening day of the season.
“I don’t think Crusaders will look at coming to us and think it’s going to be easy and I don’t think any manager in the league thinks that way now,” said Ferguson.
“I remember seasons gone by, even when I was playing, and if you had a tough run and maybe you were playing Ballinamallard or Warrenpoint or Dungannon or some of the so-called lesser teams and you would think ‘that will get us back on track again’ - that doesn’t happen now.
“The games are all very, very tough - players are fit, well organised and hard to break down so there genuinely are no easy games.
“The tactics and the squad might change for some games but you have to keep the same focus and prepare for every game in the same way.”
Ferguson has the pleasant selection headache of having the vast majority of his panel fit and in-form.
“You can only put 11 on the pitch and 16 in your squad. We had four playing for the Reserves last week and three or four injured but I would rather have a headache of trying to pick 16 from 20 than trying to pick 16 from 12, that’s for sure.
“It’s disappointing for the boys who aren’t in the squad but what they have to do is keep working hard and when their time comes, they need to be ready to step in,” added Ferguson.