EDDIE Patterson insists Glentoran remain a “work in progress” despite guiding the club to an unbeaten start in the Danske Bank Premiership.
A renewed resilience has seen the Glens ease through their opening eight fixtures and maintain their unblemished record.
Four wins and four draws have elevated the Oval club to third in the table – one point off Cliftonville and Coleraine.
Tonight Patterson takes his hungry troops up the M2 to the Showgrounds to face Ballymena United.
And the Glens boss has demanded “more of the same” as they look to continue their impressive march.
“It is still very early days. We are only eight games into the season,” Patterson said.
“We have a long road ahead of us and all we can keep doing is working hard.
“We know we have to improve on last season – that is why we are here.
“The aim this season is to climb higher in the table and get a bit of stability and consistency on the pitch.
“We’re happy enough with the start we have made, but we are still a work in progress. It is still early days.”
“It’s too early to judge anyone.
“We have introduced a few younger players and brought new faces to theclub, so it will take time.
“We have a nice blend of youth and experience, but with youth comes inconsistency. There have been a few games we haven’t performed for 90 minutes.
“The players know we aren’t the finished article yet so no-one at The Oval will be getting ahead of themselves.”
Patterson heaped praise on inform striker Andy Waterworth who continues to blaze a trail this season.
Waterworth has bagged eight goals in eight league games.
“Andy is working hard and he is getting his rewards,” added Patterson.
“This season we’re keeping him high up the park.
“I don’t want him doing any unnecessary work or running and I want him to focus on his strengths. It’s working so far.”
Meanwhile, Ballymena manager Glenn Ferguson hopes Tuesday night’s County Antrim Shield win over Cliftonville can galvanise his players.
The Sky Blues earned a resilient 1-0 win over the reigning Shield holders to book their place in the semi-finals.
It helped ease the pain of last Saturday’s demoralising 4-1 derby defeat to Coleraine.
The schedule doesn’t get any easier for United, with their next assignment tonight’s showdown with Glentoran.
“I was delighted with the win on Tuesday, especially after the derby defeat,” Ferguson said.
“We wanted a response from that defeat and we made a few changes for the Shield game.
“We were missing our captain Allan Jenkins but we had plenty of leaders out there and they all stepped up to the plate.
“Cliftonville are going well this season. They are top of the league and are Shield holders, so we knew it would be a difficult game.”
Ferguson admits the visit of Glentoran presents another stern challenge.
“The Glens have enjoyed a good start to the season. They are unbeaten too which proves they are hard to break down.
“But every game is tough in this league. We know we have to be on top of our game for every fixture.”