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Ambitious Whyte looking for Crues to maintain hot streak

 

By Alex Mills

Gavin Whyte may still crave for a move to full-time football, but his immediate priority is to help Crusaders mount a serious Danske Bank Premiership challenge.

The Shore Road boys have won their last nine games on the spin in all competitions and are looking like a team with title ambitions.

With the 21-year-old Whyte, who has bagged nine goals in the last five matches, playing possibly the best football of his young career, Stephen Baxter's boys will be determined to maintain their impressive 100% away record this afternoon when they travel to the Ballycastle Road Showgrounds to face table-topping Coleraine.

Oran Kearney's side have yet to taste defeat in front of their home fans - so something must give. Coleraine's only blemish to date came at Linfield last weekend when they lost their first game of the campaign.

Whyte believes his team have the flair and the passion to cut the gap to three points at the top of the league table. He says: "It's a massive game and we're really looking forward to it.

"Coleraine have been brilliant this season, they have some great players but we'll go down there full of confidence. It would be a bonus to cut their lead.

"It's not a title decider by any means, it's way too early to be looking closely at the table. It's not even Christmas. To us it's just another game, with three points up for grabs.

"We are on a brilliant run and long may it continue because we had a few rough patches at the start of the season."

Having previously come on to the radar of both Everton and Celtic, Whyte hasn't given up hope of achieving a dream move to full-time football.

"I'm playing with confidence at the moment," he adds.

"The gaffer shows faith in me and I'm playing every week. I think it's the best form I've had in the last three or four years.

"I think I'm maturing as a player, but I've also added goals to my game and that has helped lift my confidence. I also think I'm hungrier now and really focused on my game.

"Yes, I want to go across the water and I want to work as hard as I can to achieve that, but at the moment I can't afford to think about it too much."

Whyte will be hoping to make it a double celebration as he became the first player from this side of the Irish Sea to pick up the Irn Bru Scottish Cup Golden Balls award after his match-winning performance against Dundee United in the last round.

His last-minute strike earned the Crues a semi-final place against Inverness Caledonian Thistle next month.

Wyte added: "It's an honour, but it was a brilliant team effort that secured the win. I only got 25 minutes as a substitute, but it was nice to pick up the award."

Coleraine vs Crusaders

Irish Premier League

The Showgrounds, Today, 3pm

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