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Sky Blues are planning to finish the season on high

By David Mason

Published 23/01/2016

Looking up: Glenn Ferguson is now aiming to be top six hit
Looking up: Glenn Ferguson is now aiming to be top six hit

Ballymena United boss Glenn Ferguson has set his sights on a Danske Premiership top six finish.

Following the County Antrim Shield success over Linfield, the Sky Blues hardened their league ambitions with a scrappy 1-0 midweek win against Carrick Rangers.

But with Linfield visiting the Warden Street Showgrounds, Ferguson believes his boys can't afford any slip-ups, especially at home, if they are to achieve their goal - and make it into the top half of the table for the first time ever.

"It wasn't a vintage performance against Carrick by any means," said Ferguson.

"We've played a lot better and lost. I certainly wasn't happy with the performance.

"But we'll take the positives from it - three points, a clean sheet and we moved up a place in the table, overtaking Portadown.

"Our focus is remaining on top of Portadown. Glentoran are now the team ahead of us in sixth place, so we have to try to pick up points to reel them in. They have struggled in the league of late, so we have to try and capitalise on that."

When David Healy's Blues arrive today, it will be the teams' fourth meeting in just over a month.

"It's never an ideal situation," added Ferguson. "Linfield will be coming here looking for a bit of revenge for the Shield defeat - they will still be hurting from that. They are still in with a shout of a title challenge, so they'll be wanting to pick up points. They have a lot of quality in their side and they have added to their squad in recent days.

"But we are at home, so we have got to take the game to them and produce the type of performance that won us the Shield at Windsor Park."

Ferguson will add striker Matty Tipton to the squad, while the manager yesterday agreed a two year contract extension with defender Tony Kane

"I'm delighted Tony has committed his future to the club," he added. "He has been a consistent performer for us, so we are thrilled with the piece of business. We are still working on some of the other players in terms of new deals."

Ferguson, meanwhile, has placed striker Darren Henderson on the transfer list.

The former Coleraine and Glentoran player has this season failed to nail down a first team shirt.

Belfast Telegraph

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