Walker could make changes to winning United team for Saturday

BALLYMENA United boss Roy Walker insists he won’t be scared to change a winning team – despite the Sky Blues’ impressive start to the new Carling Premiership campaign.

United host Glenavon this Saturday (3pm) looking to build on Saturday’s excellent 4-1 win at Lisburn Distillery – a result which catapulted the Braidmen to the top of the table.

Despite that win, Walker has warned his players that their places aren’t automatically guaranteed as he adopts his usual mantra of picking particular personnel and formations for particular games.

“There will be changes if we see fit for change,” he told Times Sport.

“I look at three things when determining whether a player should play – his form, his fitness and, to a lesser extent, the opposition.

“If his form is good and his fitness is up to speed, he’s telling me ‘I’m ready to play’. Then the choice is mine in terms of whether he is the best player to play against a particular team.

“We’ll get a report on Glenavon’s match and how they set up.”

Walker will be forced into one change for the meeting with Marty Quinn’s side with full-back Tony Kane serving an automatic one-match ban following his red card at Ballyskeagh, while a further ban could be enforced depending upon referee Arnold Hunter’s interpretation of the offence.

“I can understand the foot was high but he didn’t catch the player. I thought it was a wee bit harsh but I’m not going to criticise the referee.

“It would be harsh in the extreme if they administer any more than a one-match suspension.

Walker will also monitor the wellbeing of defender Aaron Stewart who sustained a nosebleed and sore tooth in an aerial challenge during Saturday’s win but the vice-captain is expected to be passed fit.

The manager was delighted with his side’s start but insists no-one will be getting carried away.

“Our confidence is high but as long as it’s based on a humble spirit – as I said to one of our players, get your head out of the clouds, your feet on the ground and walk a straight line. Don’t be looking t the left or the right, just keep your focus on what your job is.

“From Christmas we had only one recognised striker but that’s not the case now and the arrival of Aaron Boyd gives me further options.

The 20-year-old striker impressed while on loan from Linfield last season and he has now signed a one-year deal with United following a spell of playing in Canada over the summer.