Belfast Telegraph

World Cup 2018

Fixtures & Results

Colombia COL 1

Japan JPN 2

REPORT

Poland POL 1

Senegal SEN 2

REPORT

Russia RUS 3

Egypt EGY 1

REPORT

Portugal POR 1

Morocco MAR 0

REPORT

Uruguay URY 1

Saudi Arabia SAU 0

REPORT

Iran IRN 0

Spain ESP 1

REPORT

Denmark DNK 1

Australia AUS 1

Ongoing

France FRA

Peru PER

Argentina ARG

Croatia CRO

Brazil BRA

Costa Rica CRI

Nigeria NGA

Iceland ISL

Serbia SRB

Switzerland SUI

Belgium BEL

Tunisia TUN

South Korea KOR

Mexico MEX

Germany GER

Sweden SWE

England ENG

Panama PAN

Japan JPN

Senegal SEN

Poland POL

Colombia COL

Saudi Arabia SAU

Egypt EGY

Uruguay URY

Russia RUS

Spain ESP

Morocco MAR

Iran IRN

Portugal POR

Denmark DNK

France FRA

Australia AUS

Peru PER

Iceland ISL

Croatia CRO

Nigeria NGA

Argentina ARG

Mexico MEX

Sweden SWE

South Korea KOR

Germany GER

Switzerland SUI

Costa Rica CRI

Serbia SRB

Brazil BRA

Senegal SEN

Colombia COL

Japan JPN

Poland POL

Panama PAN

Tunisia TUN

England ENG

Belgium BEL

We can shoot down Linfield's defensive record, says Crusaders star

By Graham Luney

Sean Ward is confident Crusaders have the firepower to smash Linfield's incredible domestic clean sheet record this season. The Blues are averaging two goals a game in this season's Premiership but they have yet to concede a goal in five matches.

With the familiar old saying 'defences win championships' never far from our minds, that's a worrying development for title hopefuls.

Crusaders suffered championship heartbreak at the end of last season and defeat at Seaview tonight would see them slide six points behind the Blues and Coleraine.

Linfield's backline, superbly marshalled by Northern Ireland stopper Roy Carroll, has been resolute, but former Windsor Park favourite Ward says his new team-mates can find a way through.

"Linfield have started very well and their defensive record has been impressive," admitted Ward.

"They haven't conceded a goal in domestic competition but I also believe they haven't faced an opponent with the attacking threat that we have.

"We have a goalscoring threat from all over the park and that makes this an intriguing game of football.

"Both teams have been talked about as title challengers and they will go for the win."

Ward, who moved to the Crues from Linfield in the summer, has been able to offer manager Stephen Baxter some valuable information on Blues aces, but Seaview old boy Andrew Mitchell is up to similar tricks.

"I had great times at Linfield, the club were great with me, but I'm a Crusaders player with the same professional outlook," said Ward.

"I'll be doing everything in my power to bring success to Crusaders, and I suppose with myself coming from Linfield I'm in a position to pass on information to Stephen (Baxter), but likewise Andrew Mitchell can tell David (Healy) all about our players. You try anything to give yourself an edge and certainly we do not want to fall six points behind a title rival at any stage.

"It was a disappointing result and performance against Coleraine and the manager was rightly critical of the players. Stephen (Baxter) is quick to praise the players when they play well so you have to accept criticism when it is deserved.

"It's another big game and from our perspective we don't want to fall too far behind.

"We have made a pretty good start and played well in stages of games without being exceptional.

"We have conceded a few silly goals and it's one aspect of our performances we are looking to improve on."

Belfast Telegraph

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