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Jeffrey's desire still burns bright: Ervin

By Graham Luney

Published 14/10/2016

Sky Blue party: Ballymena United trio Cathair Friel, Kyle Owens and Jim Ervin celebrate the League Cup victory over Linfield
Sky Blue party: Ballymena United trio Cathair Friel, Kyle Owens and Jim Ervin celebrate the League Cup victory over Linfield

Jim Ervin says he's not surprised that David Jeffrey has got Ballymena United flying as his professional approach to management and hunger for success have never changed.

Ervin and Jeffrey savoured many glory days together at Linfield, and now the 53-year-old is sprinkling his magic dust at the Ballymena Showgrounds.

Jeffrey's first test against his old club was passed handsomely as the Sky Blues bettered Linfield 4-1 in Wednesday night's League Cup tussle.

The scoreline was pretty, but the performance was even more eye catching with the hosts producing a performance full of energy and invention. Skipper Ervin can always be relied on to keep his team-mates' feet on the ground but the Linfield legend acknowledges that Jeffrey's words of wisdom are working.

"The thing about David is that he's just the same person I've known since I was at Linfield," said Ervin, who spent nine years at Windsor Park.

"There is no difference in him, his approach to the game, his passion and hunger to succeed remain the same.

"The way he prepares the team is the same in the sense that he simply wants to get the best out of his players and that can only happen if the preparation is right and there is a willingness to work very hard.

"The training sessions with David, his assistant Brian McLoughlin and Paul McAreavey are crucial, and the attention to detail both in terms of our strengths and what the opposition is like is significant.

"That focus and planning in terms of the important details is second to none, covering all aspects of team performance including from a physical side to the mental aspect.

"No stone is left unturned and it's particularly helpful for the younger members of the team who can learn a lot under David's guidance. I'm more familiar with the way he works but it's a real education to many players.

"Confidence is high, but we haven't achieved anything and we have a very tough game at home to Crusaders on Saturday."

Belfast Telegraph

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