Belfast Telegraph

Stephen McBride tips old club Crusaders for more glory

By Graham Luney

Stephen McBride believes his former club Crusaders are now "firm favourites" to make it back-to-back Danske Bank Premiership title triumphs.

Left-back McBride and his Ballymena United comrades will be at Seaview tomorrow for a league battle and they will anticipate a rough ride as Stephen Baxter's side have only lost one of their 17 Premiership clashes to date.

Glenn Ferguson's men did, however, rock the Crues in the County Antrim Shield at the north-Belfast venue in October as second-half goals from David Cushley and Tony Kane fired them into Tuesday's semi-finals with a trip to Larne their next hurdle.

McBride, who made more than 400 appearances for the Hatchetmen, said: "Our performance at Seaview that night was the best we had played in a long time.

"David Cushley was on fire for us and when you have a player of that quality in your side you are capable of hurting anyone.

"I don't think they will be looking for revenge but they will certainly be wary of us and know what we are capable of.

"The Crues are big favourites for the league title. When you look at the boys on their bench who can't get in the team you realise how strong they are and with Linfield surprisingly slipping a bit you would expect the Crues to march on. You can't write off many of the top teams but Crusaders are big favourites for me.

"We are chasing a top six place and hopefully a Cup triumph. Our League Cup exit was very disappointing but we have a chance to make another final on Tuesday."

Belfast Telegraph


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