IRISH LEAGUE:Ballymena United boss David Jeffrey ready for Crusaders test

Ballymena United's Cathair Friel celebrates
Ballymena United's Cathair Friel celebrates

Ballymena United manager David Jeffrey knows Wednesday night’s 4-1 hammering of Linfield in the League Cup will count for nothing when they face Crusaders in the league on Saturday afternoon.

Jeffrey’s men put on a five star display as they hit four past a shell shocked and bemused Blues at the Showgrounds.

It was one of the best performances from a Sky Blues side in a number of years as strikers Cathair Friel and Johnny McMurray ran amok against David Healy’s Linfield.

But Jeffrey knows Crusaders will bring an entirely different threat to the Showgrounds at the weekend.

“Saturday is an acid test. We are playing the best team in the league. Tell me of a side that are 3-0 down and fightb back to win 4-3.

“They had been vastly out played and came back to win 4-3. That is rediculous.

“It is tremendous from them and that takes more than talent and skill.

“It takes a great desire and a great built-in self belief.

“Su we are coming up against a very, very good side,” he added.

And Jeffrey says there are no scars left after the 6-0 defeat to Crusaders on the opening day of the season.

“All the scars were stitched at the first training night after that weekend.

“And we proved that when we played against Glenavon. What a response that was to go 3-0 up but our lack of experience cost is and we drew 3-3.

“There is no scarring. This is just a case of saying ‘let us see how we can do against the outstanding team and squad in the league?’

“That is where we are at,” he said.

And Jeffrey says he told the players after the Linfield victory that consistancy is the key in the weeks and months ahead.

“The message to the players after the Linfield game was that was a really good performance but there is no point playing to that level and then on Saturday letting the consistancy go out of our game.

“We are on seven wins and two draws which is a great run but we have got to look to keep that going.

“But for me it was about been scoreless for 25 minutes and then we were 3-0 down and then Crusaders went on to beat us 6-0.

“The players had to learn very quickly from that and they did as they responded very well against Glenavon in our next game.

“I have told them that the priourity for me is the league.

“Cup competitions are great and you want to win every competition you are in but for me the league is your bread and butter. It always has been.”

United srikers Friel and McMurray -who both scored against Linfield - have impressd this season and Jeffrey says competition for places is driving them on.

“We told them they were good enough to play at this level and we gave them the chance.

“And they know we have Matthew Shevlin, Neil Lowry and Darren Henderson all busting to get into the side. There is competition here.”