Glenn Ferguson insists there is no room for error as Ballymena United look to keep their Irish Cup dream alive on Saturday.
The Sky Blues have set their sights on a first cup win in 25 years – and with it emulate the heroes of 1989 when Paul Hardy’s goal sealed a 1-0 success over Larne at the Oval.
Ballymena are two steps away from booking their place in another Irish Cup showpiece – starting with Saturday’s quarter-final clash with Dungannon Swifts.
The Showgrounds outfit have yet to lose to the Swifts this season, recording three league victories against Darren Murphy’s men.
Ferguson is under no illusions heading into this latest acid test, and has warned his players of any complacency as they look to book their place in the last four.
“We can’t afford a sloppy performance, because if we do that then we will be knocked out of the cup – plain and simple,” Ferguson said.
“We didn’t perform in the second half against Warrenpoint last week, but we managed to get the win.
“If we perform like that against Dungannon then we won’t be as lucky.
“In my opinion, Dungannon are a better side than Warrenpoint. They have more match winners and they will punish us if we get sloppy.
“We know how difficult a game this will be. Dungannon will be desperate to progress in the cup, but so are we.
“It will come down to whoever performs on the day.”
Ferguson believes an extended cup run will keep the club’s season ticking along.
Ballymena are still battling to finish in the top six this term, but Ferguson is hungry for silverware glory.
“Having a run in the cup gives everyone a boost, and we want to try and go as far as we can,” Ferguson added.
“When you consider we were close to going out against the Welders, and then we beat Linfield.
“Fans and players love the cup and they have been talking about it all week. Now we have to go out and deliver and make sure we are in the hat for the semi-final draw.”