My belief in Cushley did not waver, insists Spike
Glenn Ferguson says he never doubted David Cushley would do the business for him in the County Antrim Shield final.
Cushley scored in the thrilling 3-2 victory over Linfield at Windsor Park which brought the Shield back to Warden Street for the second time in four seasons.
It was a bitter pill for Blues boss David Healy to swallow as the Sky Blues dangerman rejected the advances of Linfield and has opted to join league champions Crusaders in the summer.
Some United fans may have questioned Cushley's commitment to the Braidmen's cause, particularly after photographs appeared of the winger in a Crues jersey at Seaview, but his manager always kept the faith.
"Some people are not me," said Ferguson, known as Spike, ahead of today's Premiership clash with Carrick Rangers. "I've known David for seven years. When he made his decision I said 'good luck and I hope it goes well but you have four or five months to play with us' and he said 'I will give it everything I have'.
"I had no reason not to trust him and that's why he's in the team every week. He's a match winner as he proved in the semi-final down in Larne and he has scored in every round of the Shield. Why would you leave someone like that out?
"He loves football, he's moving on - so what? He wants to try and improve his career but he'll be playing for me week in, week out if he keeps playing the way he's playing."
Cushley looked like the cat that got the cream after his deflected strike helped the Sky Blues win the Shield for a sixth time and he's prepared to let his performances do the talking.
"I'm still contracted to Ballymena United so no matter what was going to happen I was going to give my all regardless," said Cushley. "To score in the final and win the Shield gives me an incredible feeling. My game hasn't changed but if anything I'm working harder.
"It's easy for some people to criticise and say 'you don't care about the club'. I've just wanted to play in every game to show that I do care. That has paid off."