Belfast Telegraph

Walker proves to Ballymena United he has axe factor

It may be time for X Factor to return to our screens but for Roy Walker it’s a case of opportunity knocks for his new faces.

The Ballymena United boss has issued a warning to his players that no-one is safe from the axe, as he looks to cut out the defensive howlers that continue to plague the Sky Blues.

The final straw came last when United surrendered a three-goal lead at home to Glenavon and in the end were relieved to escape with a point.

His close-season shopping spree brought a plethora of players, and injuries and suspensions have already proved the wisdom of the acquisitions.

Individual errors and poor performances will not be tolerated by this harsh judge and two games into the season there were expected to be a number of changes for today’s visit of Crusaders.

Definitely out was Mark Surgenor, recovering with ankle ligament damage following Kevin Kelbie’s tackle last week, and Aaron Black who was red-carded in the same game.

Others though will face the axe as Walker gets tough.

“What we’re not going to do this year is let poor performances go unpunished, so we’re going to make changes,” he vowed.

“We will make changes. Fifty per cent of the defensive line let us down, the other 50 per cent let us down.

“We’ve got a squad, we’ve got to be fair to the squad, it’s as simple as that. I can’t pick a team on sentiment, I have to pick a team on what we might need.

“You can micro-manage certain areas and certain individuals but you look at decisions or mistakes that can turn games. I’m not seeing what I see and what we all see and doing nothing about it.

“I’m not even going to go there with the players.

“I had to tell them (after the game) ‘don’t speak, shut up, this is my turn to speak and because you did such and such you won’t be playing next week. End of story’.”

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