Glenn Ferguson gleaned enough encouragement from last week’s derby defeat to suggest Ballymena United are up for the fight this season.
The Sky Blues may have lost their third game on the bounce, but Ferguson sensed some improvement from previous heavy defeats to Linfield (4-0) and Glenavon (7-1).
Next up is Saturday’s trip to Stangmore Park to face Dungannon Swifts.
“There was more effort and desire in the Coleraine game than there was against Linfield and Glenavon, so that was a positive,” Ferguson said.
“Sadly we conceded two sloppy goals again which was disappointing.
“But it is something to build on and we need to improve again.
“We have had three tough opening games – against two of the top three from last season and then our derby rivals.
“Dungannon is another difficult one, and they are a team who we are likely to be fighting with in the table.
“So we need a big performance.”
Ferguson is hoping to have loan signing Gareth Rodger available on Saturday.
The St Johnstone defender has signed an initial deal to January.
“Hopefully he should be clear to play,” Ferguson said.
“We need to tighten up defensively and hopefully Gareth can help in that department.
“We have been conceding poor goals this season, and a lot of them from set-pieces. So that is something we will need to address if we want to tighten up at the back.”