Sean Friars’ fears over Institute defensive woes before Crusaders clash

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Sean Friars has warned his players they can ill afford to reproduce the same defensive errors which proved so costly against Glentoran when league leaders Crusaders roll into the Brandywell.

Institute were thumped 4-0 by Glentoran in front of the Sky Sports TV cameras at the Oval on Monday night as ‘shocking’ defending, particularly at set-pieces, proved their downfall.

Crusaders manager Stephen Baxter.

Crusaders manager Stephen Baxter.

“It’s back to the drawing board,” said Friars. “Crusaders are a top, top team so if we defend like that against them then God knows what it’ll be.

“Crues are coming and they are flying, you could look at it in two ways.

“No-one at all will give us a chance against the Crues so it’s a chance for the boys to redeem themselves now, switch back on at the Brandywell.

“We know how the Crues will play but it’s a chance for us to get it down and play.

“As tough as it is, it’s a good one as well because if we take something from it, it will lift the spirits again.

“It’s just down to pure concentration and communication so we have got to be switched on.”

The Crues welcome Institute aiming to extend into September the superb league form of August which has left Stephen Baxter’s squad unbeaten and top of the table.

“It’s early in the season yet,” said Baxter following a 3-0 win over Dungannon Swifts last weekend. “If we can win 3-0 and miss three or four other chances we really should have been scoring, if we can still go up another couple of gears, that’s pretty good.

“August was good, sitting unbeaten and top - but the league campaign is a long haul.

“It’s a start we want to keep building as we go.

“We bank those points but not get too far ahead, just keep on working hard.”