Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 21 December 2014

Ballymena United v Crusaders: Berry starting to impress as he warms up for big impact

THere will be few people peering out the living room window today longing to don a pair of shorts and brave the freezing weather, but Ryan Berry is one of them.

The midfielder will have his fingers crossed that tomorrow’s game between Ballymena United and Crusaders survives the Braid blizzards as he looks to kickstart his Sky Blue career.

In last week’s league rehearsal between the two sides the former Glentoran man notched up his first goal for his new club and is likely to make the move from the bench to the starting line-up with Roy Walker’s options in the centre running out.

Nathan Hanley is suspended and Gavin Taggart is fighting to be fit, thus opening the door for the 22-year-old student but he’s not taking his place for granted.

“That’s up to the gaffer, it’s not up to me to pick the team. I can only do what I can do when I come on,” he explained.

“I’m still trying to get my fitness back and hopefully I made a point last week and it makes it hard for him to leave me out.”

Another close encounter, in what is the side’s fourth meeting of the season already, is on the cards but Berry hopes United don’t freeze on two counts, the weather and the sluggish start they made last weekend.

“I think it showed that the two teams are equal and this week should be another good game,” he said.

“They did brilliantly against us in the first-half and didn’t let us play at all. We know what to expect, they’re a good team and they’ve done well over the past couple of seasons to get where they have done.

“We know we’re in for another hard game but we’re going to be ready for it.”

As for the season as a whole, Berry’s aspirations for a run in the team mirror United’s hopes for greater consistency.

“We want to finish in the top six and we’ve had some great results against the bigger teams and a couple of slip-ups like at Cliftonville where we got a bit of a hammering,” Berry admitted.

“The first-half looked like that last week and the boss has told us that we have to stop this yo-yoing, up one week and down the next.

“It’s up to us to get a bit of consistency rather than having to dig ourselves out of a hole all the time.”

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