Glenn Ferguson refuses to take any risks with players ahead of Irish Cup final

Ballymena boss Glenn Ferguson
Ballymena boss Glenn Ferguson

Ballymena United boss Glenn Ferguson insists he would field a reserve team on Saturday even if Ards were scrapping for survival.

With Ards already condemned to finishing bottom of the Premiership, Saturday’s season finale at the Showgrounds is a proverbial dead rubber.

Ards’ fate depends on who claims the Championship 1 title this weekend.

If Bangor finish top then NIall Currie’s side will face a relegation play-off with Institute.

If Stute claim the title then Ards will be relegated.

Ferguson’s focus has already turned to next week’s massive Irish Cup final with Glenavon, prompting the Ballymena boss to tinker with his squad for Saturday’s league encounter.

“I will not be playing any of my first team squad on Saturday, and they know that. It will be a full reserve team,” Ferguson said.

“I am delighted my son Matthew will also make his first-team debut. He has played the full season in the reserves, so he will get a run out.

“We play Ards, and Glenavon play Linfield. Linfield could have been going to Mourneview Park for the title, and Ards could have been coming to us needing points to survive.

“But it is irrelevant to us. Ards and Linfield’s fates wouldn’t have depended on this Saturday. There are 37 other games before that.

“If Ards needed three points on Saturday to stay up, and Ballinamallard and Warrenpoint gave off to us, well that would be tough. They had 37 other games to pick up the points needed.

“That’s football, and it may have been controversial. But I have to look after my own club.”