Crusaders boss Stephen Baxter sure that David Jeffrey’s Sky Blues will put up a fight

Crusaders boss Stephen Baxter
Crusaders boss Stephen Baxter

Crusaders boss Stephen Baxter knows what to expect when a David Jeffrey side comes to Seaview - a tough afternoon at the office.

Both sides got their Danske Bank Premiership campaigns off to winning starts and with new faces brought in to both squads over the summer Baxter expects the Sky Blues to be up to the challenge of playing on the Shore Road.

“I have always known David Jeffrey’s teams to be well set up, very strong and have quality in their ranks.

“He has changed the whole structure and he has brought in very, very good Irish League players.

“So I would expect they will be there or thereabouts again competing for silverware this year,” he said.

And Baxter - who lost Gavin Whyte to Oxford United during the summer - will also be missing key striker Jordan Owens for the clash because of injury and he says they may have to take a different approach to their game.

“We have five or six new players in and we are trying to integrate them all into the systems and bringing Rory Patterson in was that little bit of firepower that we needed with Jordan and Jamie Glackin out injured.

“We needed one or two bodies in and around us and we have managed to secure a few, so we are ready to rock and roll,” he added.

And Baxter says his side came through the Ards game on Monday night without any damage.

“We had no problems from the other night and no-one reported anything afterwards, so I think we are alright on that front.

“But we will have a look at them in training and see what happens,” he added.

And United manager Jeffrey - who watched his side beat Dungannon 2-0 in their league opener - will be hoping his team can get something on the road when they tackle the Crues.

Jeffrey signed nine players during the summer and of those new recruits, Jonathan Addis, Scot Whiteside, Ryan Mayse, Andrew McGrory, Jude Winchester, James Knowles and Adam Lecky all played a part in the win against the Swifts.

Jeffrey will know, however, that Crusaders at Seaview offer a sterner test for his new-look side than Rodney McAree’s Swifts were last weekend.

Last season the Sky Blues played Baxter’s men five times and lost all five, so know tomorrow will not be an easy task.

But there is a buzz around the Showgrounds with the new players brought in and they will be hoping to get something from the clash.