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Rivals splashing cash will not steer Crues' ambitions off course: Baxter



Crusaders manager Stephen Baxter

Crusaders manager Stephen Baxter

Inpho/Stephen Hamilton

Crusaders manager Stephen Baxter

Crusaders manager Stephen Baxter says he's not worried about big spending rivals flexing their financial muscles.

Glentoran brought the transfer window to life when they tabled £60,000 offers for Cliftonville striker Joe Gormley and Ballymena United frontman Adam Lecky.

Neither bid was successful, but the Glens did manage to snap up Ruaidhri Donnelly from the Reds for approximately £40,000.

The Crues are no strangers to digging deep for players as Jamie McGonigle's transfer from Coleraine was around £50,000, but there's no question that several clubs now have the finances to make ambitious moves as they aim to strengthen their squads.

Linfield, Glentoran, Crusaders and Larne will not shy away from spending big while being wary of costly mistakes. Baxter's men are fully focused on Saturday's BetMcLean League Cup final against Coleraine at Windsor Park but they still have one eye on a title race which has been given a new dimension by Glentoran coming under new ownership and receiving fresh investment. But the Crues boss is staying cool in a changing football climate.

"It's not something that occupies my mind; what others are doing and how they are doing it," he said. "You're so locked into everything you're doing yourself and so busy with it all, you have no time to look over your shoulder.

"I'm always focused on what I need to do for Crusaders. Transfer windows are obviously busier months but it is constant.

"Your brain never stops working on football. When I wake up every single day of the week, Crusaders is on my mind constantly.

"It's a very weird thing. There's always a burning issue around a player or transfer markets; it's every day of the year and just doesn't stop, but that's how football is."

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