Belfast Telegraph

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We must sort out defence to have any chance of top six, admits Glendinning

By Graham Luney

Ballymena United goalkeeper Ross Glendinning has admitted the Sky Blues need to stop leaking goals and raise their performance level if they want to compete in the top six.

The Braidmen will take on Glentoran at The Oval in front of the Sky Sports cameras this evening knowing they are seven points behind the sixth-placed Glens and after their opening 13 Premiership outings the men from Warden Street have conceded 17 more goals than Gary Haveron's side.

United can't keep handing out any more early Christmas presents if they want to hold onto their ambitions of becoming a top-six side this season.

"We sound like a broken record at the minute but we've got to do better defensively," said the former Linfield stopper. "It's not a few players making individual errors or even a back five issue, we need to perform better and stop losing our opponents at set pieces.

"We are still in the Cup competitions and have a home draw in the League Cup but we've got to raise our game and be more consistent.

"I wouldn't say we are anywhere near being a disaster but we have big games coming up and if we don't deliver we will slip out of the top six reckoning. I rate Johnny McMurray very highly, as one of the best strikers in the league, so we have goals in the team, but clean sheets are vital. Set plays have been our downfall and we need to eradicate that.

"Glentoran are sixth and we are seven points behind them so it's a huge game in terms of making the top six and if we lose this game we will have a lot of ground to make up. Europe is a big aim for both clubs but it's obvious we need to find some better form."

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