Crusaders assistant boss Terry Moore is backing his players to stay top of the Carling Premiership tonight after a trip to the Coleraine Showgrounds.
The Crues tasted defeat at Ballymena on Saturday and manager Stephen Baxter was so frustrated with his side’s performance that he gave them the silent treatment afterwards and Moore can understand that reaction.
The former Glentoran favourite knows that any slip-up tonight could let in Linfield, who are just a point behind.
“But we will fight on — our boys have got great character. We bounced back after the Linfield defeat (winning at Cliftonville) and we will have to do the same again,” said Moore.
But a visit to Coleraine will hold no fears for the Belfast side. They have not lost a league game at the Showgrounds since November 2001.
Reflecting on the United game, Moore admitted he had a feeling the Sky Blues would have the last laugh.
He said: “The boys were up against it on Saturday as it was a back to back game against Ballymena United (following the Co Antrim Shield semi final clash which the Crues had won four days earlier).
“I knew when I was a player that when a team beats you and you get a quick chance to get revenge you will be ripping into them like a tiger.
“Sometimes it doesn’t matter what you do or say — the other team is so fired up.
“If I was a Ballymena player who was beaten on Tuesday I would want to put things right.
“That is the difference between the teams in this league. It is how you come out on the park and what is going on in your mind. From the first kick you need to show intent and United showed that on Saturday.”
Tonight is the fifth round of matches scheduled for midweek and three games in seven days is now a common occurence for a Carling Premiership side and the part-time players are finding the going tough.
Inevitably, the fans will be the ones to suffer if the standard of football on show deteriora