Ferguson backs players to respond to cup ‘spanking’

Ballymena United manager Glenn Ferguson. Picture: Press Eye.
Ballymena United manager Glenn Ferguson. Picture: Press Eye.

GLENN Ferguson has backed his players to respond positively to Monday night’s Irn Bru League Cup “spanking” by Linfield.

The Ballymena United boss says it is important that the Sky Blues’ players come out fighting after the 6-0 home defeat at the hands of the Blues.

“It was certainly an off-night,” said Ferguson

“We were as poor in the first half as we had been good in the first half at Dungannon on Friday night.

“We weren’t at the races and when you do that against a team with the quality that Linfield has, you’re going to get punished.

“But we’re not going to dwell to much on the negatives - we’ll work at them but it was a wake-up call to us.

“We’ve been on a good run recently so we’re not going to get too downbeat about it - it’s a real spanking but the boys know they have to respond to it because they know they can’t play like that against Crusaders on Saturday.

“In the first 10 minutes we actually knocked the ball about well without creating any chances but if you give Linfield a sniff they’ll take it.

“It was 11 v 11 and if you work as hard as your opponent you can make it very difficult for them - we didn’t work hard enough to match Linfield’s work-rate or desire, never mind their quality.

“I purposely stood and watched the second half without shouting and bawling too much just to see the reaction and body language of the players and you get to learn things about your players from situations like this.

“The war was over by half-time so I wanted to see which players hid in the second half and which ones stepped up to the mark.

“The key now is how we react to that - if we play like that against Crusaders, the same thing could happen again, so we need to play a whole lot better,” added Ferguson.