No favourites for Boxing Day clash - Ferguson

Glenn Ferguson last night played down suggestions that Ballymena United will enter Thursday’s Boxing Day ‘derby’ (3pm) against Coleraine as favourites.

Ballymena United manager Glenn Ferguson.

For the first time in several seasons, United will enter the annual December 26 fixture above their neighbours in the Danske Bank Premiership table.

“People will possibly say that because of Coleraine’s recent form but when it comes to a Boxing Day game, form goes out the window,” Ferguson told Times Sport.

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“I know that sounds like such a cliché but either team could win on any given day.

“It will come down to factors like who makes the best start and who copes better with the crowd and the atmosphere.

“We didn’t really do ourselves justice in the Boxing Day game last year and I’m hopeful that we’ll have a greater drive and ambition to do better this time.

“By the same token Coleraine will be wanting to keep their run of results against us going on.

“I have no doubt that Coleraine are a better side than their recent results have suggested but they have been hampered by injuries to key players such as Stephen Lowry - that is something I can empathise with because it affected us as well, particularly last season.

“But they have signed David McDaid and even though he can’t play against us on Boxing Day, that signing will have given everyone at Coleraine a lift so we know just how tough it will be.

“But we can go into the game with confidence - not arrogance - especially after the way we reacted to our midweek defeat by beating Crusaders at the weekend. We’ll train on Tuesday and prepare ourselves as best we can for Boxing Day and it’s a game we’re all very much looking forward to.

* Seven Towers Supporters’ Club transport leaves Henry Street car park at 2pm.