FOOTBALL: Stephen Baxter lashes out after home loss to Coleraine

Crusaders Declan Caddell and Coleraine's  Stephen McDonnell
Crusaders Declan Caddell and Coleraine's Stephen McDonnell

Crusaders slipped to their first defeat of the new Irish League season and manager Stephen Baxter was far from happy with this side’s performance against Coleraine in the 2-1 loss.

“It was a disappointing result as we didn’t compete in the game,” said Baxter.

“If you don’t compete, you don’t deserve to win a football match.

“A few players thought they had reached the dizzy heights after scoring nine goals in the opening two games.”

Even when Coleraine went down to 10 men, the Crues could not capitalise.

“I have praised our players for several years about the quality of their performances.

“But when you don’t listen to instructions and do what you are meant to be doing that’s what you get.

“When you have five men behind the ball when they only had one upfront, then you have a problem.

“I have to go and analyse what went wrong and ensure we are competitive next weekend.”

Baxter expects a reaction from his players ahead of next week’s derby with Cliftonville.

“We will remind the players about what they’ve achieved in the past.

“They will take a bit of criticism this week and go home with a few things to think about.

“But they will come back in this week and we will work things out on the training pitch.”