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Home form is vital for Crusaders, says O'Carroll

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Diarmuid O'Carroll battles for possession with Warrenpoint's Stephen Moane

Diarmuid O'Carroll battles for possession with Warrenpoint's Stephen Moane

Diarmuid O'Carroll battles for possession with Warrenpoint's Stephen Moane

Striker Diarmuid O'Carroll believes Crusaders can turn Seaview into a fortress again.

Stephen Baxter's boys got back on the wagon following two shattering defeats at their Shore Road base by defeating a Warrenpoint Town team that looks doomed, even at this early stage of the Danske Premiership campaign.

Lanky striker Jordan Owens bagged a brace, with O'Carroll chipping in with a the vital second goal to keep the Crues in the slipstream of leaders - and his former employers - Cliftonville.

"The win was crucial after losing our last two at home to Cliftonville and Glenavon," said O'Carroll.

"It's not like us to lose two on the bounce at Seaview.

"We needed to stop the rot. It's been different away from home, we've beaten Glentoran and won twice at Windsor.

"The thing is, we haven't kept as many clean sheets as we would have liked in recent games.

"Hopefully, we can now kick on and drop no more points at home."

O'Carroll provided the opening for Owens to power the Crues in front with the flick of his head early on and, even though they dominated all over the park, the home side had to wait until the 68th minute to kill off the opposition.

This time Owens had two efforts brilliantly saved by Martin Marron, before O'Carroll provided the finishing touch.

Owens then gobbled up the goal of the match five minutes later with a piercing drive from the edge of the box.

Town boss Barry Gray failed to hide his disappointment, accusing his boys of lacking passion and desire.

"Focus on the positives? None!" he fumed.

"They players had a poor attitude, no commitment and were just a shambles. It is just not good enough.

"That performance had relegation written all over it.

"We've had too many displays like that. It's alright saying about a response in our next game, but every week is becoming one week less.

"If this team gets relegated, I'll not be going anywhere simply because I want to put things right.

"I don't want this club to be in Championship football.

"But I know if we do go down, half of those boys in that dressing room will be out the door because they think they are too good for the Championship.

"On that performance there is only one group of people to blame if we are relegated and that's the players.

"There has to be a responsibility level. You just can't deliver a display like that and not face the consequences."

Belfast Telegraph