Belfast Telegraph

Caddell in complete awe of O'Carroll's ability to shine

By Graham Luney

Declan Caddell says Crusaders are reaping the benefits of a masterclass in forward play from Diarmuid O'Carroll.

At a time when Cliftonville are floundering, the former Reds striker is in sparkling form for their neighbours.

O'Carroll has faced a fight for game time at Seaview since his summer switch from Solitude but he produced a stunning display in the 3-0 win at Warrenpoint Town last weekend.

The former Glenavon ace wrapped up the victory with a deserved goal 11 minutes from time.

Midfielder Caddell, who was making his first team return after a frustrating spell on the sidelines with a foot injury, has backed the Killarney man to weave more magic in the Danske Bank Premiership.

"That was the best individual performance from a striker I have seen in a long time," purred Caddell.

"There's been a lot of talk about Cliftonville losing Liam Boyce but we were fortunate to sign Diarmuid.

"Diarmuid played up front with Jordan Owens and it seemed that all our attacks involved him. He held the ball up well and distributed it intelligently. He gave the Warrenpoint defence a torrid time and hopefully other teams will suffer the same fate.

"I watched us play well against Coleraine but we showed steely determination on Saturday and the boys can rightly reflect on a very strong performance but the challenge facing all the teams is to maintain that form."

Crusaders entertain Institute tonight (7.45pm) before steeling themselves for a home clash with Linfield on Monday evening.

"They (Stute) have been brilliant so far and it's like a step into the unknown for teams facing them as they have just been promoted," added Caddell.

"Stephen O'Flynn seems to be their dangerman but we have players who can hurt them too and if our attitude is right there is no reason why we shouldn't win the game."

The Danske Bank Premiership is shaping up to be a wide open fight with the mid-Ulster clubs threatening to embarrass Belfast's big guns.

Champions Cliftonville have made a stuttering start and Caddell says he always believed Boyce's exit would hurt the Reds.

"Diarmuid told us Liam was involved in about 60 goals for Cliftonville last season – that's quite an influence," he added.

"Liam scored 21 goals in 38 Cliftonville appearances last season but his assist count would be very high too. It's hard to lose a player of that quality and intelligence.

"But things won't be a little clearer for all of us until around Christmas time.

"You just want to pick up as many points as possible and stay in the race."

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