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Ballymena are facing relegation scrap if we don't improve: Glendinning


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Rally cry: Ballymena United keeper Ross Glendinning has
warned his team-mates they are fighting for their future

Rally cry: Ballymena United keeper Ross Glendinning has warned his team-mates they are fighting for their future

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Rally cry: Ballymena United keeper Ross Glendinning has warned his team-mates they are fighting for their future

Ballymena United goalkeeper Ross Glendinning has admitted everyone at the club is fighting for their futures and a continuation of their poor league form could lead to a relegation fight.

United have now lost their last six Premiership outings and scored only two goals in that poor run - in the 3-2 defeat at home to Larne.

The Sky Blues sit in ninth spot, 10 points ahead from second from bottom Warrenpoint who occupy the relegation play-off spot, though United have a game in hand.

Dungannon Swifts sit 10th, seven points above 'Point and also with a game in hand.

Confidence has taken a battering but there is little time to heal wounds with champions Linfield at the Showgrounds tonight.

A 2-0 defeat at home to Carrick Rangers last weekend led to a painful post mortem after the game, and the reality is that the players have underperformed this season in a big way.

The club aspires to compete with the league's big guns and, while it's accepted that their bigger squads and financial resources ensure it's not a level playing field, there is still no excuse for United's below par showings.

It's not all doom and gloom as the door to Irish Cup success and Europa League qualification remains open, but manager David Jeffrey and his assistant Bryan McLaughlin will not tolerate performances lacking in commitment and quality.

Former Linfield stopper Glendinning accepts there is no hiding place and the players must dig deep to show they have pride in their own performances. If they can't, they'll be leaving the club.

"We are low in confidence and it shows," he said.

"We just aren't performing well but we must dig deep.

"You can't make excuses, we are paid by Ballymena United to win football games and if you don't do it, you won't be there, and that applies to everyone from the staff to the players.

"We are in it together but everyone is fighting for their futures.

"There is a different league this year with teams strengthening but we have fallen flat from day one.

"I must be brutally honest, we aren't safe from relegation. We could get pulled into that.

"The performances have not been good enough and we've got to try and finish strongly for our own personal pride.

"I've learned in football that everyone wants to be your friend when you're winning, but when you're losing the critics are out. That's the way it is for the best and worst players in the world.

"When you aren't winning, questions like 'are you training hard enough?' will be asked whether we like it or not.

"Everything is under the microscope, from training to budgets. You always want to bounce back and prove people wrong but, more importantly, we need to prove ourselves right.

"There are good players in the dressing room, there are no bad guys there, in fact we are probably too nice at times.

"The players are top men and we aren't going out to play bad. It's up to us to get things right."

Glendinning admitted there was an honest and frank discussion after the disappointing defeat to Carrick.

"The players and staff just had a chat about what is going wrong," added the 26-year-old.

"The conditions last Saturday were horrendous, but Carrick wanted the ball more all over the pitch and the disappointing thing is they were better.

"You can talk about injuries and suspensions but the players haven't hit the heights of last year. All we are trying to do is bounce back and finish as high as we can while keeping Irish Cup hopes alive."

Linfield are gunning for the league title and will show no mercy tonight. For United's players it's a case of showing the supporters they care about the club's plight.

"Everyone expects Linfield to beat us and rightly so, they are top of the league and a quality side," added Glendinning.

"From our point of view we need to play for ourselves, it doesn't matter who we play. It's time we got our confidence back and got some momentum.

"It's possibly a nice game as the pressure is on Linfield to win the league.

"The Irish Cup is our only chance of silverware but we can't dismiss league matches and think we can just turn up and beat Ballinamallard. We aren't good enough to be able to do that."

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