We aren't flying yet insists Crues ace Declan Caddell
Declan Caddell has warned the rest of the Danske Bank Premiership that Crusaders' title challenge is only warming up. The Crues may boast a five-point lead at the top of the table after 17 matches but the midfielder says Stephen Baxter's side are nowhere near their best.
The champions have played some scintillating football this campaign while their rivals have floundered, but Caddell knows the Hatchetmen have plenty more weapons at their disposal.
"While I was out for a long time with my foot injury I watched a lot of matches and while results were good I felt we could play a lot better," said Caddell, who signed a deal keeping him at Seaview until May 2019.
"We aren't at full tilt yet. I think we have some way to go to reach the level of performances we were producing towards the end of last season when we won the title. I believe our best football is yet to come but we are in a fantastic position and when you consider the amount of injuries we experienced at the start of the season I think we should be very proud to be in the position we are in."
At the start of the season the million dollar question in north Belfast was would the Crues players have the same hunger and desire to win the championship again after their heroics of last season? Caddell says the answer is a firm 'yes' and the performances of his team-mates leave him convinced the Crues can taste back-to-back title success.
"The hunger is still there, no question about that," said Caddell, whose side take on Ballymena United at Seaview this afternoon.
"Guys like Jordan Forsythe and Matthew Snoddy who weren't involved last season have been outstanding for us and everyone wants to be part of a successful team. The boys who have come to the club in the summer have been brilliant.
"Jordan (Forsythe) is flying at the minute, creating and scoring goals. The step up to the Premiership from the Championship is significant but Stephen (Baxter) knows how to get the best out of his players."