IRISH LEAGUE: Crusaders boss Stephen Baxter up for Cliftonville battle

Stephen Baxter
Stephen Baxter

Stephen Baxter believes his boys moved up the gears last week and is demanding a similar type of performance in the North Belfast derby against Cliftonville at Seaview.

The Crues dismantled Ballinamallard United with a second half goal blitz, that had the boss purring with delight afterwards.

But Baxter is expected a much tougher test when Gerard Lyttle's team makes the short journey to the Shore Road.

"I thought we were good last week . . . I sensed for the first time we found a gear or two we have been looking for over the past few weeks.

"It was a good performance from one to 11 and the reality is, we could have been into double figures with the amount of chances we created.

"So, while I was ultra pleased, the boys know they can't afford to rest on the laurels."

Baxter will again have a full squad to choose from, but hinted he may tinker tactically. He added: "There is a great hunger in the team . . . no one wants to lose their place.

"Cliftonville are coming off a good win at Portadown. They will not be short in confidence. Games between the teams are always very tight.

"In fact, in most cases, it's the odd goal that wins it -- and that's usually down to whoever can come up with a little bit of magic."