CRUSADERS skipper Colin Coates in is line for a return to action in Tuesday night’s County Antrim Shield showdown with Linfield.
Coates – whose season has been hampered by a persistent ankle injury – is set to return to action as the Crues target another Shield final appearance.
The Northern Ireland international defender has returned to full training and recently played in his own testimonial game against Huddersfield Town.
Now the 27-year-old is preparing to step out against old enemy Linfield at Seaview.
“Colin has played a couple of games and has been training, so he comes into contention on Tuesday,” Crues manager Stephen Baxter said.
“The Shield gives me an opportunity to maybe bring him in and see how he is progressing.
“I will mix it up a bit. I haven’t sat down and thought about it, but we will assess our options.
“We have Glenavon on Saturday and Lisburn Distillery next Monday, so we have a few games coming up in a short period of time.”
Baxter insists he has moved on from Saturday’s controversy against Coleraine in the Premiership.
The Seaview boss was outspoken against referee Tim Marshall after the official awarded a late penalty to the Bannsiders in a 1-1 draw.
Now Baxter us turning his attention to cup football and the chance of more silverware.
“We have a big game on Tuesday night which is good. We can get Saturday out of our system,” he added.
“It is cup football which is a different pressure from the trials and tribulations of the Premiership.
“Cup football is all about giving your best on the night and hoping it is enough to win the game.”
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