Glenn Ferguson insists it will take time for Ballymena United to be consistently challenging for a top six spot in the Danske Bank Premiership.
The Sky Blues lifted the County Antrim Shield last November – their first senior trophy in 23 years.
But despite the heroics at the Oval United’s league campaign has been left floundering.
They have taken just nine points from a possible 39 in their last 13 league games and appear destined for another finish in the bottom half of the table.
Ferguson believes United have to look at the achievements of clubs like Cliftonville, Crusaders and derby rivals Coleraine who have gradually progressed over recent years.
“When you look at those clubs, their success did not happen overnight,” Ferguson said.
“Cliftonville have been gradually building, and Stephen Baxter has done a similar job at Crusaders. The same applies to Oran Kearney at Coleraine.
“Our aim is to do to the same as those clubs are doing.
“We know it’s not going to happen overnight – it will take a bit of time.
“We gradually and steadily want to get better – it takes time to mould players and to get them with the attitude you want.”