World News – GB – Stephen Baxter praises Crusader supporters


The Floods entertain their North Belfast rivals Cliftonville tonight with 460 home fans in attendance at Seaview

Baxter thanked all the fans for their continued support during what has been a testing period for local football

« I can’t thank our fans enough, they have been so strong for a man, » he said

« The amount of good wishes that come to you from all of our guys it’s just amazing the way they support the club, on and off the pitch

« It’s overwhelming at times I think they all stood up and voted to renew their memberships so the club can go on and do what it’s supposed to do

« We can’t fit them all right now, which is difficult, but we will also be streaming online to make sure as many people as possible can see the games.

« Receiving them week by week as they go will be something positive and special for everyone »

The Crusaders started the season with a 1-0 win at Warrenpoint Town last week, but it came at a cost as defenseman Billy Joe Burns was late sacked

Baxter stressed the importance of having a squad, especially given the number of games condensed into a shorter time frame this season

« It’s a huge campaign over a long period – 38 games is a lot

« You need to make sure your team is capable, fit and ready when you need them

« Billy Joe was kicked out last week, so we need to make sure someone is ready to take his place

« These guys have been working incredibly hard behind the scenes, we have to work hard on solidarity all the time and people support each other, and be fit and ready to play when asked

« That’s what makes a good team, but there are a lot of very good teams in the league this year and we are all very aware of how difficult the challenge is »

Cliftonville also collected three points on Matchday 1 with a 1-0 home win over Glentoran

Reds boss Paddy McLaughlin was delighted to see his team collect all the points against a team that should be tough for honors this quarter

« Both sides fought well It was the first return leg and you could see there was a lot of hard work going into the performance of both teams, » he told the BBC

« There probably wasn’t enough football being played at times, that’s the way it is, sometimes you have to face it

« We were happy to have had this bit of quality from Ryan Curran with a late winner

« I’m delighted with the start, a clean sheet too, it’s important especially to play against good players

« I don’t remember ‘Brushy’ had too many saves to make. The boys have been superb all along in undoing this attack from Glentoran

« They are a strong team and they will definitely be up there with challenges. To beat them and get three points on the board in the first game we are delighted »

Crusaders FC, Cliftonville FC, NIFL Premiership, Stephen Baxter, Glentoran FC, North Belfast Derby

World news – UK – Stephen Baxter praises Crusaders supporters


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