Glenn Ferguson admits it is no surprise to see how Linfield have surged from basement battlers to table toppers - all in the space of nine games.
The Blues were rooted to the bottom of the Danske Bank Premiership following a goalless draw with Glentoran on August 31.
But following a stellar run of form - which has included eight wins from those nine league games - David Jeffrey’s side are now four points clear at the summit.
It has been a menacing run of form from Linfield, who continued their upward curve with Saturday’s 4-1 victory over Ballymena.
Goals from Matt Tipton, Andy Waterworth, Billy Joe Burns and Aaron Burns eased the Blues to a commanding win at the Showgrounds - David Cushley bagging Ballymena’s only response.
“I was at Linfield long enough to know how things work,” said Ballymena boss Ferguson.
“A crisis at Linfield is when you don’t win a game. After the first four fixtures they were bottom of the league, but I don’t think a lot of people thought they would stay there for long.
“The quality they have is phenomenal. Their bench against us was scary when you see Mark McAllister, Philip Lowry, Jim Ervin, James Knowles and whoever else. My budget would have been taken up by that whole bench.
“But that is Linfield. They can attract the big players and pay bigger wages, and players go there to win trophies. That’s the appeal.”
A thrilling game at the Showgrounds witnessed six goals - but there should have been a few more.
Tipton broke the deadlock in the fourth minute when he pounced on a howler from United keeper Dwayne Nelson - the striker nipping in to poke home after Nelson fumbled Billy Joe Burns’ free-kick.
It was 2-0 in the 38th minute when Waterworth skipped clear of the home defence before clipping his shot over the advancing Nelson.
Ballymena alved the deficit two minutes after the interval with Cushley dispatching a superb volley past Jonathan Tuffey.
The Blues wrapped up the points with a header from Billy Joe Burns before namesake Aaron bagged a fourth with a deflected shot.
Linfield also hit the woodwork three times while Ballymena spurned a number of decent chances which could have altered the final result.
Linfield boss Jeffrey hailed Saturday as a fantastic spectacle for fans.
“I thought it was a cracking game, considering the conditions,” he said.
“I know people talk about Irish League football not being as good as it was years ago, but I think football has changed. It has evolved
“It isn’t as physical as it once was, but that is because of the rules from FIFA changing. The physicality is being clamped down on occasions.
“But some of the quality out there was superb. David Cushley’s finish was amazing - it was a wonder goal.”
Ballymena’s misery was compounded by a serious injury to goalkeeper Nelson who broke his jaw in the build-up to Linfield’s opening goal.
“Both doctors had a look at Dwayne after the incident, and both said it looks like a broken jaw and possibly an operation,” Ferguson said.
“It could be three months out, but I am not a medical specialist.
“Lesser keepers would have wanted to come off after something like that - Dwayne showed great character.”