Belfast Telegraph

Baxter urges his players to be positive and go on the offensive


By Graham Luney

Crusaders manager Stephen Baxter will tell his players to attack, attack, attack as they prepare for four league matches which will determine their fate this season.

The Crues' title mission has become simple and straightforward - win the next four games and they will be champions for a third consecutive time but if they slip up in just one of those fixtures they could end up reflecting on the painful reality they have let a nine points lead slip away.

There is no margin for error now and that's what makes it such an enthralling finish to the season. Today's derby at Solitude is about much, much more than north-Belfast bragging rights.

If Baxter's boys can win it they just might steady the ship and regain the confidence required to finish the job but if they drop more points then they have not only opened the door to Linfield but patted them on the back as they march through it.

The Crues boss has admitted his side have looked nervous and edgy. They also cannot afford to be cautious. They've got to go on the offensive to claim the prize that's on offer.

"It has looked in the last few weeks like we have been defending a lead and in my book, you've got to go and try to win something, try to achieve it as it won't be handed to you," said Baxter.

Striker Jordan Owens missed the 1-0 defeat to Linfield with a calf injury and it appears unlikely he will be risked against the Reds.

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph