Furious Ballymena United boss Glenn Ferguson has labelled Wednesday’s 7-1 capitulation to Glenavon as a “total embarrassment”.
The Sky Blues surrendered in front of a frustrated Showgrounds crowd as their season swerved from one mire to another.
Saturday’s 4-0 defeat to Linfield was a bitter pill to swallow for Ferguson, but Wednesday night’s performance against the Lurgan Blues was as pitiful as you can get.
Trailing 4-0 at the break, Matthew Shevlin’s goal offered a brief respite before Glenavon added another three goals of their own.
Played two, lost two, 11 goals against and just one for.
Put bluntly, it has been a horror show for the Sky Blues.
“Wednesday night was a disaster – a total embarrassment,” Ferguson blasted.
“The players let themselves down. On Monday night we worked hard on defending set pieces and keeping our shape. But they didn’t listen.
“Our two centre halves weren’t aggressive enough and Glenavon knew how to get at us. They were ruthless.
“We can’t let players just get away with it. Some of them think because they are more experienced and older that they won’t be dropped. Well, guess what? They’re wrong.
“We will continue making changes until the players get the message. This isn’t good enough.”
Ballymena fans have endured similar agony in recent years.
They conceded six against Glenavon in a 6-3 defeat two years ago, and collapsed to an 8-0 defeat to Cliftonville in November 2013 – a side they also lost 7-0 to one year year later.
Ferguson admits this week’s rout was the worst yet.
“The result is embarrassing, but also the manner of the defeat,” he added.
“We were all over the place and Glenavon scored with ease. It was a disaster.
“Glenavon do have good players, but they are not six or seven goals better than us.”
Ferguson has felt the wrath of disgruntled Sky Blues fans since Wednesday’s defeat, with many taking to social media to blast the Showgrounds boss.
The former striker understands their frustration, and insists he is not in the role for any sympathy.
“I don’t mind criticism. People pay their money to watch the team and they deserve to have a say,” he said.
“I am not in the game of football for sympathy.
“But at the end of the day we as a coaching staff can only do so much, and the players have to step up to the plate.
“They have let me down, the club, the fans and the whole town. I feel for everyone after a result like Wednesday.
“It was a total embarrassment, and they need to go out and respond.”
Next up for Ballymena is Saturday’s derby clash with Coleraine.
“The players should need little motivation for that one,” Ferguson added.
“I shouldn’t need to lift them. It is the perfect game to go out and redeem themselves and give the fans something to cheer.
“The first two games are gone now – let’s move on and deliver a result and performance to be proud of.”