Crusaders boss Stephen Baxter wins Manager of the Month award

Stephen Baxter received his award from Northern Ireland Football Writers' vice-chairman Stephen Watson and Darren McHugh from BT Sport
Stephen Baxter received his award from Northern Ireland Football Writers' vice-chairman Stephen Watson and Darren McHugh from BT Sport

Stephen Baxter has been named Northern Ireland Football Writers BT Sport Manager of the Month for January.

The Crusaders boss led his team to the top of the Danske Bank Premiership last month with victories over title rivals Linfield and Portadown.

The Crues hammered Ronnie McFall’s Ports 6-0 in a one-sided demolition, and also defeated Glentoran at The Oval and Ballinamallard United.

Their only setback was on the last day of the month when they were held to a draw by Dungannon Swifts.

Baxter, who will celebrate his 10th anniversary at Seaview on February 26, said: “We were six points behind Portadown at the start of December so the players deserve the credit for our tremendous run.

“But the league is never won at the end of January so we have to keep our form going.”

Baxter’s award – his 12th since his first in 2006 – completes a January double for the Crues with Richard Clarke having been named BT Sport Player of the Month.

And a former Baxter favourite at Seaview, David Rainey, was named BT Sport Championship Player of the Month.

Indeed, Baxter described Rainey as his “best ever signing”.