Glenn Ferguson says he is ready to overhaul Ballymena United’s playing squad with “fresh blood” after their Irish Cup semi-final exit.
Saturday’s 3-1 defeat by Portadown effectively ended the Sky Blues’ season and Ferguson is now ready for a revamp of his playing personnel.
“A lot will depend on how the next six games go. It will depend on who actually wants to stay about the club,” said Ferguson.
“If any players at all, irrespective of who they are, think they’re going to pick up their wages and go through the motions they have another think coming.
“The planning for next season started some time ago. You have to be proactive because if you stand still, you miss out on some things.
“We’ve tried to move the club forward and we’ve tried to bring better players in.
“Something has to happen at the club, an injection of fresh blood or better, more streetwise Irish League footballers.
“Hopefully, all being well, we will be here to sort out who we want at the club so there’s a whole catalogue of things we need to put together to see who the playing personnel will be. It won’t be easy but it’s something we have to work at.
The manager also responded to criticism directed at him from United’s fans during and after the semi-final, adding: “Ultimately, I’m the manager and I take responsibility for the results.
“If the fans want to vent their anger and their disappointment at me, they are well within their rights because I put that team out.
“But if I have to take that from supporters because of the lack of performance from the players, then the players have let me down.
“They have let the supporters down and they have let themselves down which is a bad thing.
“I’ve been in this game a long time and I’ve taken a lot of boos along the way but there is nobody as disappointed about result than me.
“The supporters would have been disappointed going up the road because they have supported us brilliantly all season but that result makes the last six matches difficult for them,” added Ferguson.
“The first of those games comes this Saturday when they travel to Ballinamallard (3pm).
* Paramount United Supporters’ Club monthly table quiz takes place in the Bowling Club this Friday (8.30pm).
* Ballymena’s Easter Tuesday home game against Warrenpoint Town will kick off at 7.45pm.
* The next event in keeper Dwayne Nelson’s testimonial season - a night at the races - will be held in Ballymena Services Club on April 11.