Stephen Baxter takes his Crusaders side to Ballyskeagh this afternoon counting down the seconds to a Lisburn Distillery backlash.
The Crues may be at the summit of the Carling Premiership while the Whites are firmly rooted to the bottom, but the Seaview supremo fears the basement battlers will explode into life sooner rather than later.
Crusaders’ blistering start to the season has slowed down dramatically, with only one point netted out of a possible six.
“Lisburn Distillery will turn the corner. They have far too many good players like Peter McCann, Pat McShane, Darren Armour, Andy Kilmartin and Spike when he is fit,” said Baxter.
“They are all players who were at the top of the Irish League last year. The tide will turn for them and they will win somewhere.
“Ballymena United did it last season when they put together a few wins and that is what will happen at Ballyskeagh. After that first win they will grow in confidence.
“There is nothing separating this whole league and games will be hard fought every week.
“Teams are well organised and the tactics they adopt frustrate other teams. Newry were happy to come and defend well against my team that has a little bit of flair and likes to pass the ball.
“The league this year will be exceptionally tight with teams that pass the ball around having to work very hard for their victories.”
The Crues will be without striker Mark Dickson who is still recovering from a knee injury.
Lisburn Distillery, who will be without injured striker Glenn Ferguson, have offered the vacant managerial post to Harry Fay who is considering the offer.