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Wounded Crusaders still pose a big title threat, insists Clarke



Crusaders winger Ross Clarke

Crusaders winger Ross Clarke

� Inpho/Stephen Hamilton

Crusaders winger Ross Clarke

Crusaders winger Ross Clarke insists there is still plenty of the belief in the Seaview dressing room that their title dream is not over.

The Crues' title defence has hit a few bumps on the road but they still possess the strength in depth to sustain a championship challenge.

A 1-0 win over Dungannon Swifts last weekend leaves them seven points adrift of league leaders Ballymena United who have played a game less.

Former Linfield ace Clarke accepts an uphill fight is ahead but he's refusing to throw in the towel.

"There is still plenty of belief in the dressing room," said Clarke. "We will have a better idea who the favourites are in the New Year but we need to kick on from this important result so we stay in the mix.

"It's an interesting title race and a few people seem to think it might go to the wire.

"The top four or five teams are very competitive and I think the standard has improved in recent years. That's good for the fans as they are seeing competitive matches.

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"The games are coming thick and fast over the Christmas period and I think the depth of the squad will be tested. We will improve in the new year with new players strengthening the squad and hopefully we will keep improving.

"It was important to get the momentum back in the team and with the other games being called off, you can take advantage and put pressure on."

Meanwhile, League of Ireland Premier Division holders Dundalk have signed Warrenpoint Town goalkeeper Aaron McCarey.

The former Wolverhampton Wanderers keeper has been an ever-present for the Irish Premiership side but has agreed a two-year deal with the Lilywhites.

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