Jordan Owens insists there is no room for complacency as Crusaders look to stay on title course in January.
The big striker was on target as the Crues defeated leaders Linfield on New Year’s Day.
A 2-1 victory saw Stephen Baxter’s side close to within a point of the top of the Danske Bank Premiership.
A first Gibson Cup in 18 years remains in sight for Crusaders following a stellar festive period.
Boxing Day’s win over champions Cliftonville was a major fillip for the Shore Road men, one they backed up with Thursday’s spirited success against Linfield.
Next up is what boss Baxter has described as a “different challenge” for his side – the visit of Ballinamallard United to Seaview on Saturday.
The Mallards are scrapping for points at the other end of the table, but proved their resilience and fight with a midweek draw with Cliftonville.
And Owens admits there can be no room for error this afternoon.
“The next game is always the most important one for us and in many ways Ballinamallard at home is a bigger game than Linfield on New Year’s Day,” he said.
“It’s crucial we build on the recent momentum we’ve built up.
“It was a massive three points against Linfield and it was nice to chip in with a goal, but we know we have to kick on now. We have 14 league games left and we’re ticking every game off now.
“Our target going into every game has to be three points. That’s the aim.”
Owens – who bagged his 17th goal of the season in all competitions on Thursday – insists there can be no dip in performance from the Crues if they are to taste title success.
“We have to produce the same level of performance we showed against the likes of Cliftonville and Linfield,” he added.
“We have to perform with the same quality in every game we face between now and the end of the season.
“We’ve done well in the big games over the Christmas and New Year period, but we know we have to back it up against the likes of Ballinamallard. We want to keep up the pressure on the top of the table.
“We have a very good squad, so I don’t see why we can’t kick on,” he said.
“We’ve cut the gap to a point, so we’re in the mix, but we know things can change very quickly.
“We have a very good squad, so I don’t see why we can’t kick on.
“We’ve cut the gap to a point, so we’re in the mix, but we know things can change very quickly.”