Glenn Ferguson has rubbished the notion that Ballymena United should start as favourites for Thursday’s derby showdown with Coleraine.
The Sky Blues are being tipped to earn a rare victory against the Bannsiders after an encouraging start to the season.
Ballymena sit seventh in the table and on the cusp of breaking into the top six.
Coleraine have lost their last seven league fixtures going into the Boxing Day showdown.
“Form doesn’t matter going into a Boxing Day game - it goes out the window,” Ferguson (pictured right) said.
“We know this will be a very tough test.
“Yes, we will take plenty of confidence into the game, but we will not be taking anything for granted.
“We are coming off the back of a great win against Crusaders, and the players will take plenty of encouragement from that.
“But this is a new fixture and a new challenge, and we have to be ready to rise to it.
“We have said all along that we would like to break into the top six, so we need to pick up as many points as we can.
“Hopefully we can do that on Thursday against Coleraine.”