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Key to Crusaders hanging in there this season is showing bouncebackability, says Jeff Spiers

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Crusaders assistant Jeff Spiers (right) with manager Stephen Baxter

Crusaders assistant Jeff Spiers (right) with manager Stephen Baxter

Crusaders assistant Jeff Spiers (right) with manager Stephen Baxter

It’s not the only reason, but Crusaders assistant manager Jeff Spiers has pointed to one particular statistic as being a major factor as to why the Shore Road men still have so much to play for this season.

The Crues sit fourth in the Danske Bank Premiership, just outside the main bracket of title contenders, but are certainly not out of the race as they sit 11 points off the top of the table with 14 games to go.

Last season, Stephen Baxter’s men finished a massive 24 points behind champions Linfield, mostly down to a horrific period during March when they lost five games on the spin — this season, however, they have responded after every defeat and that resilance is keeping fans at Seaview on the edge of their seats.

“The defeat against Glentoran last week was the first we’ve had since the start of December and that won’t halt our momentum,” said Spiers, ahead of today’s home clash with Glenavon.

“This season we have tried to ensure that if we lose a game we bounce back straight away.

“We didn’t do that last season, but this season when we’ve lost we’ve come back and won the next game and that is what all the top teams do.

“In this league if you lose a couple or even draw the team behind you will jump in front of you so we have to stay in front and stay in among the top teams.”

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Only Linfield have conceded fewer goals than the Crues this season and that is key for Spiers .

“We have been very good defensively recently. When we keep clean sheets we know we’ll get chances at the other end and you are always going go pick points up from that,” he said.


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