Crusaders must sharpen up at both ends of the park if they are to remain in contention at the top of the Carling Premiership — so says boss Stephen Baxter.
Though only Linfield have outscored the Shore Road side so far this season, the Crues also have the second-worst defensive record in the league having shipped 40 goals to date.
Baxter acknowledges that improvements must be made at the back but insists their points tally could be different if they showed a greater degree of ruthlessness in attack.
“If we take the Cliftonville game for example, not only were we unhappy about losing, we were extremely disappointed not to have come away with all three points,” he said.
“We certainly had the chances to make the game safe but just lacked that killer touch when it was required.
“You would have put your house on David Rainey to take the chance which came his way and we had other opportunities as well.
“Then we’ve failed to mark up correctly at the set piece for Cliftonville’s winning goal, so we have issues to address at both ends — but I cannot fault the players’ efforts.”
Baxter is able to call upon Declan Caddell for tomorrow’s Seaview showdown with Dungannon Swifts after the midfielder sat out Monday’s game through suspension, while Stuart Dallas is likely to return from a bout of cramp suffered in the game.