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Crusaders are Ballinamallard's stiffest test so far: Anderson

Ballinamallard United will travel to Seaview today bidding to maintain their unbeaten record.

The Mallards have taken five points from their first three games, but manager Whitey Anderson believes Crusaders will be their stiffest test so far.

Anderson said; “Crusaders have one of the best squads in the league. Gary McCutcheon is a top class striker and someone who I expect to give us problems — but they've quality right through the side, as well as depth.

“Even if Colin Coates is out they can still play a centre-back partnership of Paul Leeman and David Magowan.”

Ballinamallard met Crusaders in the Irish Cup two seasons ago and suffered a 5-0 defeat. Anderson believes the lesson learned that day spurred them onto success last season.

The manager explained: “That was the day that showed to me that we needed to change a few things about the side if we wanted to compete in the top division.

“That Crusaders defeat was the catalyst for what we achieved the next season. After that match I got in contact with a few boys at Sligo Rovers and started to build a stronger team for the following season.

“I like to think that we've come a long way since then and that we've made some major improvements.

“Hopefully Crusaders will notice the difference.”

Although Anderson is an admirer of Stephen Baxter's Crusaders team, he is not so keen on Seaview artificial pitch.

He says: “I'm happy to make my position quite clear on 3G pitches — they have no place in football. They're fine for training, but when it comes to a match we should be playing on grass.”

Belfast Telegraph