Stephen Baxter hoping for another big performance from Crusaders

Stephen Baxter is hoping for another big effort from his Crusaders players when they travel to Glenavon tonight for their first round tie in the Samuel Gelston’s Whiskey Irish Cup.

Friday, 7th January 2022, 8:00 am
Crusaders boss Stephen Baxter

It has been a tough few weeks for the Crues as Covid swept through Seaview leading to the postponement of their traditional festive fixture with neighbours Cliftonville.

They felt the effects of their lay off in last Saturday’s draw with Carrick. But they bounced back in style with a terrific 2-0 win over the Reds in the midweek rearranged fixture.

Baxter though is concerned that three games in quick succession is a big ask given his squad is still finding its feet again after illness.

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“It was a difficult couple of weeks for the camp with 17 Covid cases,” he told the club website.

“We had boys in their bed up until Thursday of last week.

“They literally rolled out of bed to come in for a training session.

“Saturday was difficult just getting into the rhythm of the game.

“The authorities asked us to play the game on Tuesday, but we didn’t really want it as three games in six days is too much, especially for a team coming off the back of Covid.

“But we asked the team to perform and boy did they deliver.”

Tonight’s game at Mourneview Park kicks off the weekend’s Irish Cup ties.

Fifteen more games are scheduled for tomorrow as the road to the National Stadium begins.