Belfast Telegraph

Jeffrey happy with new recruits as Ballymena march on

Ards 1 Ballymena United 2

Centre stage: Shane McGinty celebrates Ballymena’s winner
Centre stage: Shane McGinty celebrates Ballymena’s winner

By Keith Bailie

Ballymena United manager David Jeffrey does not expect to do any business before the transfer window shuts next week.

The Sky Blues boss brought in a number of new recruits during the summer, including James Knowles and Shane McGinty who both scored in Saturday's 2-1 defeat of Ards.

Jeffrey says he will only add to his squad if the right man becomes available.

"We did an awful lot of work during the off season, as everyone knows, so I feel like I've done my business for this transfer window," he explained.

"However, you never say never in football. If somebody became available who I felt could improve our team then I will have to look at it. You have to be able to do that.

"But at this moment in time we have no targets in mind and there are no irons in the fire as I'm very happy with my squad. We did our business very early in the summer because we wanted everyone together for pre-season and that's worked well for us so far."

United are now third in the Danske Bank Premiership, with no defeats in their opening three games. On Friday night, they face Glenavon at Mourneview Park - a venue where they have a poor record.

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"We've been well beaten at Mourneview Park on a number of occasions in recent years, so Friday night's game is a real test for us and a real test for this set of players, a number of whom weren't here last year," added Jeffrey.

"I watched Glenavon against Molde in their Europa League tie and they were excellent. They were well accomplished in all areas of the pitch, so I'm not surprised they have made a solid start to the season.

"It's a real test for us, but in many ways, every game is a test and a new experience for this set of players, because it's a revamped team. There's still bonding and still getting to know each other."

Ards, who took the lead through Mark Kelly, remain without a point and will be out to rectify things when they host Newry City on Friday.

Manager Colin Nixon said: "Newry have made a great start to the season and will come to us with nothing to lose. They're already off the mark, so they're under no pressure, whereas we are desperate for the win.

"I think we have played well in patches so far this season but we have not produced a performance for the full 90 minutes and that's why we are without a point. We need to change that on Friday night."

ARDS: Johnston, Kerr (Mitchell, 88 mins), Byers, Taylor, McClean, Frazer, J Kelly (E McAllister, 78 mins), Tommons, Cherry, D McAllister, M Kelly (McLellan, 65 mins). Unused subs: Mooney, Nelson, McKenna, McAleenan.

Ballymena: Ross Glendinning, Whiteside, Burns, Addis, McCullough, McGrory, Winchester, Knowles (Kane, 86 mins), Faulkner (McGinty, 70 mins), Mayse, Lecky (Shevlin, 65 mins).

Refeee: Keith Kennedy (Lisburn)

Man of the match: James Knowles

Match rating: 7/10

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