Marty Quinn views Crusaders as genuine title contenders this season.
Quinn takes his Glenavon side to Seaview tomorrow aiming to wipe the smile off Shore Road faces.
The Lurgan Blues themselves have made a bright start to the campaign but there are few bigger tests in the league than a trip to face the Hatchetmen.
With David Rainey leading the goalscoring charts with nine goals — six in the Premiership — the former Glentoran man will need to be watched closely but Quinn is confident he can be silenced.
Regardless of the outcome tomorrow, there will remain a healthy dose of respect between the opposing teams.
“Linfield and Glentoran will always be leading the charge for title success but there is no reason why the Crues should not be there or thereabouts come the end of the season,” said Quinn. “They have a lot of quality in their team and they are a dogged side that are hard to beat.
“Without question, they are capable of putting in a title challenge and they have built on their Irish Cup win by making an excellent start. I’m confident there are goals in us but I would like to see us defend better and we will need to at Seaview.”