Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 25 December 2014

Baxter banishes talk of Linfield job

Crusaders manager Stephen Baxter
Crusaders manager Stephen Baxter

Stephen Baxter says he is not chasing the top job at Linfield or Glentoran.

Baxter was linked with the Glentoran manager’s job after Alan McDonald quit and many in the game feel he could step into the Linfield hotseat in the future.

However, the Crusaders boss is remaining focused on the Shore Road challenge.

“I never look ahead,” said Baxter. “I only concentrate on what we do here. I don’t look beyond tomorrow or the next day, my faith won’t let me do that. I don’t have aspirations for anybody’s job. I just want to do a good job here and I will let everything take its course. Any other decisions are for a higher power.”

Baxter’s top priority at the moment is to keep his squad together and resist the advances from the Big Two who are hovering like vultures over his skipper Colin Coates.

The Northern Ireland international is likely to start next season with the Hatchetmen but Aaron Black and Mark Dickson look set to leave Seaview. The Crues have failed to qualify for Europe but Baxter will get a final look at his players in competitive action tomorrow afternoon when they host Dungannon Swifts.

“I’m interested in boys who just want to play, like David McMaster who came from Abbey Villa to this football club,” said Baxter. “The Linfield game was the first time he has played in front a few thousand here and I want to see that hunger and desire to do well.

“If I revealed to you the pay of some of our boys against the superstars of Linfield and Glentoran you would be embarrassed but there’s not a 90 per cent gap in how they play. Our football against Linfield was sensational.”

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