Ballinamallard boss Whitey Anderson has warned his players they will end up with more egg on their face if they put in another defensive horror show against Portadown.
The Mallards collapsed to a 5-0 defeat to champions Crusaders last Saturday in what was a mediocre display at Seaview.
Ironically, the rout came after two defensive shut-outs from Anderson’s side in their opening two games.
A 1-0 win over Warrenpoint was followed by a 0-0 stalemate against Dungannon.
But all that good work unravelled last Saturday.
“Crusaders are a cracking side, but from my point of view we conceded three goals in 21 minutes from absolutely abysmal defending,” Anderson said.
“You can adopt all the tactics in the world, but our defending was as bad as you can get. Shocking. It was as bad as the day we lost 7-0 to Warrenpoint.
“Crusaders will punish your mistakes and they did that last Saturday.
“Our season won’t be defined by games against teams like Crusaders. That is maybe the only positive.
“If someone had offered me four points from three games I would have taken it.”
Next up for the Mallards is Saturday’s meeting with Portadown at Ferney Park – another side brimming with attacking threat.
“We need to defend better,” Anderson added..
“They have some of the best strikers around so we need to be on our guard and totally focused.
“The top teams all have the top strikers and they can do you damage.”