Sky Blues not get­ting car­ried away de­spite ex­cep­tional start, says Ervin

Belfast Telegraph - - SPORT - BY ALEX MILLS

DANSKE BANK PRE­MIER­SHIP BAL­LY­MENA United de­fender Jim Ervin in­sists the team will re­main fully grounded de­spite their lofty po­si­tion in the Dansk Bank Pre­mier­ship ta­ble.

David Jef­frey’s team are tucked in nicely be­hind Gle­navon and Lin­field and will look to harden their chal­lenge at the top when they make the trip to face Glen­toran at the Oval to­day.

Even though they were de­prived of host­ing games for the first two months of the sea­son, due to the re­fur­bish­ment of their War­den Street Show­grounds pitch, the Sky Blues rose to the chal­lenge — they’ve lost only three of their 13 starts so far.

But no one is be­com­ing car­ried away — Jef­frey, who re­shaped his squad over the sum­mer, bring­ing in nine new play­ers — will make sure of that.

“So far, it has been good,” said Ervin. “The new boys have bought into ev­ery­thing Davy and the back­room staff have been want­ing to do and it’s pay­ing div­i­dends.

“But no one is get­ting above their sta­tion. We know, once you let you guard down, that’s when you get smacked in the face.

“The one thing that we are fo­cused on is not to be­come car­ried away. We sim­ply look at the next fix­ture and take it from there.”

United go into to­day’s game in the best pos­si­ble shape fol­low­ing a last-gasp 2-1 win over Gle­navon in a game played in hor­ri­ble con­di­tions.

“I would say it was prob­a­bly up there with one of the worst nights we’ve had up there in terms of the weather,” adds Ervin. “I think both teams de­serve a lot of credit. Both played bet­ter against the wind and rain. It was a mas­sive three points.

“We went down to Mourneview Park in the sec­ond game of the cam­paign and we were chinned 4-0, al­though I don’t think that score re­flected on the per­for­mance con­sid­er­ing we had to play 45 min­utes with only 10 men.

“But when you have a re­sult like that, you want to put it right the next time around. We man­aged to do that, which pleased us.

“Games against Gle­navon have been tricky over the last few years — they haven’t been in our favour and we’ve been on the re­ceiv­ing end of a few ham­mer­ings. So, it was good to get the three points . . . I thought we were ex­cep­tional in the first half.”

Ervin ad­mits the Sky Blues must be at their best if they are to leave east Belfast with any de­gree of sat­is­fac­tion to­day.

“I al­ways en­joy go­ing to the Oval, it’s a great place to play foot­ball,” said the for­mer Lin­field man.

“The Glens are go­ing well at the minute – they have be­come a dif­fi­cult team to beat. It makes it a tough game.

“But there is noth­ing easy in this league. You wouldn’t have ex­pected Lin­field to drop five points to teams in the bot­tom two or three in the ta­ble.” Stay­ing grounded: Jim Ervin (left) is re­main­ing fo­cused

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