Jim Ervin stays calm as leaders Ballymena United travel to Warrenpoint Towen

Jim Ervin
Jim Ervin

Ballymena United skipper Jim Ervin is sure the Sky Blues will go to Warrenpoint Town in the Danske Bank Premiership tomorrow knowing that a tough test awaits his side.

United saw off Warrenpoint 6-1 earlier in the season and the Sky Blues since then have picked up a number of positives results that see them top of the league table.

But the former Linfield knows that Warrenpoint - who have only lost two in their last 12 matches will not be there to just make up the numbers.

“They are a good side and yes we beat them 6-1 the last time but it was one of those days that everything we tried worked.

“Warrenpoint have also come on leaps and bounds since then and there recent form has been good.

“It is always difficult to go down there and the last result counts for nothing. They will - like us - be trying to get something out of the game.”

And Ervin says that even though United sit top of the table and have won their last nine games they have done nothing yet.

“Yes we are going well but this is December and we are coming into the busy festive period. We have done nothing yet and we know that in this league one minute you can be going well and then the next you could be losing games and dropping points.

“There is very little between the teams and anything can happen on a Saturday. We are just working hard and taking it one game at a time. We have done nothing yet.”

And Ervin said the Irish Cup draw away to Dundela would be a test for his side.

“They are a good side so we will see how we get on but there are games before the Cup clash and we will have to focus on those first - but all we are focused on at the minute is Warrenpoint on Saturday.

And the United skipper says it was good news that all the home fans tickets for the Boxing Day clash against Coleraine had been sold in a matter of days.

“That is great news for the club and there is always a big crowd on Boxing Day. But the main thing is we have a number of games between now and then and we have to focus on those.

“As a player we love the Boxing Day game because of the size of the crowd and the atmosphere and we are looking forward to it - but we have a number of games before that starting with a tough one against Warrenpoint,” added Ervin.

And Warrenpoint manager Stephen McDonnell is hoping his side can keep their good run of form going and he is looking to see how his side perform against the league leaders.

“It was heavy defeat the last time we met but we are looking forward to this one and we are looking to test ourselves against them.

“They are top of the table at the minute so they will be a test but we have been in great form recently and we will be looking to continue that run, although we have a number of guys missing because of injury and suspensions - but we will see how we get on,” said McDonnell.

And the Warrenpoint boss is looking forward to matching his wits against Ballymena United manager David Jeffrey.

“It is good to go toe to toe with guys like that but he is at a different level to Warrenpoint in terms of budget, size of squad etc.

“But I enjoy being on the sidelines with these guys and hopefully I can pick something up that I can use in the future.

“But it is great to go toe to toe with these guys and see what happens.

“This is a real test for us but we are looking forward to it and we will give it a real go.”