Glenn Ferguson says his Ballymena United players must step up their performance levels considerably for this weekend’s home Danske Bank Premiership game against Linfield (3pm).
The Sky Blues boss watched his side struggle to overcome 10-man Warrenpoint Town on Saturday, describing United’s performance as “inept”.
“We feel we’re always capable of scoring goals but we don’t seem to be capable of keeping them out.
“It’s not even as though teams are cutting us open. Balls down the middle that we can’t deal with and the players in that position have to learn to do it better.
“We have spoken about the goalkeeping situation, and individual errors, injuries and suspensions have also played their part in our defensive record.
“We might have to chop and change again this weekend to get it right.
“I don’t think defending is rocket science - go to the ball before it bounces, we let the ball bounce too much.
“If we play like we did at on Saturday and defend like that this week we’ll be on the back end of a five.
“Linfield are better than Warrenpoint. If we play like that this week we will get our backsides kicked.
“Linfield are on a bad run but they will eventually come out of it. They have players that have characters and strength that can win them games.
“Linfield’s crisis and another team’s crisis aren’t on the same level. Linfield are third in the league in the Shield semi-final - I would love to be in a crisis like that!
“We want to try and stay as close to Portadown in the table as possible because that seventh place is still potentially a European play-off place this season,” added Ferguson, who will be without Willie Faulkner for several weeks after the winger sustained a fractured arm at the weekend.
The manager will be missing Gareth Rodger who is suspended for one match after picking up five bookings, while Johnny Taylor will miss the Boxing Day ‘derby’ at Coleraine for the same reason.