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Ervin playing the waiting game for minutes but is happy to bide his time in Ballymena's unbeaten run



Ballymena United skipper Jim Ervin

Ballymena United skipper Jim Ervin

�INPHO/PressEye.com/Jonathan Po

Ballymena United skipper Jim Ervin

Skipper Jim Ervin admits Ballymena United are prepared for a backlash when they travel to Stangmore Park to face Dungannon Swifts today.

The former Linfield man is aware Kris Lindsay's team will be hurting from their midweek defeat by newly promoted Portadown and will be determined to put things right.

In contrast, David Jeffrey's Sky Blues approach the game in the best possible shape, having won three and drawn one of their last four outings, which has catapulted them into the top six in the Danske Bank Premiership table.

"We'll be giving Dungannon the respect they deserve," said Ervin. "Although Portadown beat them in midweek, we'll be taking nothing for granted. We faced Portadown last weekend and couldn't beat them (the game finished scoreless).

"There is no doubt, results have been a bit crazy, apart from the top two (Larne and Linfield), who have shown more consistent form than the rest.

"At least we are sitting in the top six in the league table after nine games, so we can't complain.

"Dungannon have already beaten Cliftonville and Coleraine down at their place, so it's a tough one for us.

Since United turned into a mean machine at the back, Ervin has had to settle for a place on the substitutes' bench - he's prepared to bide his time.

He added: "I can't really complain, we've had four cleans sheets on the bounce. It's a matter of being patient and when the chance does come to take it.

"Our first set of fixtures was tough... away to Coleraine, home to Linfield, away to Larne and home to Crusaders. And, apart from the Coleraine result, we didn't fare too well.

"There were a lot of moans and groans how we were performing. But the players stuck with each other... we worked our socks off in training and thankfully things started to turn for us.

"There are fine margins between winning and losing in this league. Those fine margins were going against us back then."

With the busy festive period approaching, Ervin believes picking up three points at Stangmore Park would be a massive bonus.

"We are now coming into the Christmas and New Year period, which is always a crucial time," he added. "It's important we get as many points on board from now until the beginning of next month.

"If we could manage to do that, it would leave us in a good place until everything starts to take off again in January."

Belfast Telegraph