David Jeffrey has sounded a note of caution as he takes his Ballymena side to face Newry City on Friday evening.
The Sky Blues could move to the top of the table after progressing into second place following a home victory over Glentoran on Tuesday at the Showgrounds.
Three more points would take Jeffrey’s men to the summit of the Danske Bank Irish Premiership, but the Ballymena boss says he will be taking nothing for granted against Darren Mullen’s men, who climbed off the foot of the table with a crucial win over Ards last Saturday.
Jeffrey said: “We played Newry here and we won 3-0, but it was not a 3-0 game. On that day we capitalised when we were on top and we took our chances when we created them.
“Whenever Newry did have an opportunity, they found that Ross Glendinning was in great form and we defended resolutely, but there certainly wasn’t three goals between the teams that day.
“People watched how impressive they were on the telly against Cliftonville and they are a super footballing side, and they are coming off the back of a great result against Ards; confidence will be high and they love big games on a Friday night down at Newry, so we know it’s going to be one very tough encounter,” added Jeffrey.
“That will have given them a massive lift and they will be targeting us and it’s a matter of can we respond again. We are playing a lot of football in a few days and you’ve got to remember that these are part-time pros.”
For Newry City manager Mullen, last weekend’s big win over Ards will have been in vain unless his side can earn something from the clash.
Newry have lost four of their last five Irish League matches and remain only one point above Ards.
“Our home win means nothing if we don’t build on it,” said Mullen.
“But I’d like to dedicate it to those Newry fans who have stuck with us on the road this season. It can’t have been easy but hopefully it makes this weekend a bit more enjoyable and now we move onto Friday night.”