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Full Time

Fit-again Snoddy determined to regain his place with the Crues

By Billy Weir

Matthew Snoddy is fighting fit again and looking to give manager Stephen Baxter a headache.

The talented midfielder is back in contention for a starting spot for Crusaders after a frustrating spell on the sidelines.

However, with the Crues fighting on several fronts and the busy festive period to come, he hopes to be back in the thick of the action.

"I've been out for the past three weeks with a wee twinge where my hamstring meets my knee, which I did against Dundee United, but I had been in and had a good run in the team and things were going well," Snoddy said.

"It has set me back a bit but I'm back in the squad. Last Saturday was my first game back on the bench and I wasn't used and that probably has done me the world of good.

"Another week of rest will do it no harm and I'll be ready to go for Warrenpoint on Saturday and hopefully play some part in it.

"I've never gone down to Milltown and got it easy. It's a place where we've always struggled and maybe scraped through with last-minute goals in tight games.

"There's no doubt it will be a tough game and we have to make sure we carry the same attitude we've been carrying for the last eight to 10 weeks and keep it going and pick up the three points any way possible."

It's a view shared by boss Baxter, who picked up the Bet McLean Manager of the Month for November award yesterday.

"We're treating the Warrenpoint game as if we are playing Linfield, Glentoran or Cliftonville - any of the top teams," he said. "It's a tough away venue for us, it always has been. We've never gone there and strolled to an easy win and said 'thanks very much'.

"It will be a competitive game, and it will be a tight game I'm sure, but we have to put our best foot forward.

"Warrenpoint are fresh in this league, their players are enthusiastic and their manager is very enthusiastic.

"We have to meet all of those challenges head on and it will be the same respect to them as it would be for anyone else in the build-up to the game, and we will go there and try to play the way we want to play and impose ourselves on the game."

As for picking up the Bet McLean honour, he was quick to share the accolade with his players.

"I often say when I win an award it means the team is playing pretty well, which pleases me no end, so that's always an honour to lift an award around Manager of the Month," he added.

"The team has been motoring nicely and you've got to keep everyone focused on their jobs, and when one or two have been really outstanding in the month it's good to see them honoured.

"When players pick up Player of the Month it is always a terrific honour for them because that shows they have been outstanding, and that's a good thing."

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