Ballymena United can complete the first objective of David Jeffrey’s managerial tenure at the Showgrounds this weekend.
A victory in Saturday’s Danske Bank Premiership match at Carrick Rangers (3pm) would guarantee United’s place in the top flight next season.
Three points from the trip to the Belfast Loughshore Hotel Arena would take Ballymena to 40 points ensure that neither Warrenpoint Town nor Saturday’s opponents could catch them, thereby ensuring that United would finish higher than the relegation play-off spot in 11th place.
Despite survival being so close, Jeffrey anticipates a tough test at the Taylor’s Avenue venue.
“I’ve watched Carrick several times this season, before I came back into management and every time I watched them, I have been very impressed by them,” said the United boss
“I’ve watched them in games where they have lost narrowly or got a draw when they maybe should have got a victory.
“They work very hard and they have some very talented players.
“The challenge for my players now is to keep up this level of consistency.
“But rest assured there will be no relaxing or any lessening of the intensity by either myself or Bryan McLaughlin.
That level of intensity is how our players train and how we want them to play.
“I’ve told them that to play like that, they’ve got to train like that.
“The reality is you can’t turn it on and off like a tap. You’ve got to be consistent and if you don’t do it in training, you won’t do it on Saturday.
“Sometimes the frustration is that do it in training and then don’t do it on the Saturday but they have been consistent in the level of intensity and hard work they have put in,” added Jeffrey.
Seven Towers Supporters’ Club transport leaves Henry Street car park at 1.45pm.