CRU­SADERS v LIN­FIELD TIME FOR CRU BLOOD

Bax­ter to reshuf­fle pack after Irn Bru Cup hero­ics

Daily Mirror (Northern Ireland) - - SPORT - BY ALEX MILLS

STEPHEN BAX­TER faces a se­lec­tion headache ahead of tonight’s Betm­clean League Cup quar­ter-fi­nal clash with Lin­field.

The Crues are com­ing off the back of an im­pres­sive 2-1 win over Dundee United in the Irn Bru Cup, which guar­an­teed them semi-fi­nal in­volve­ment against In­ver­ness Cale­do­nian This­tle in Fe­bru­ary.

What made the vic­tory even more stag­ger­ing was the fact that Bax­ter rested a posse of his big guns in­clud­ing Billy Joe Burns, Colin Coates, Gavin Whyte and Paul Heat­ley.

But it’s a fair bet they will all be handed a start against David Healy’s stut­ter­ing Blues.

“We have to be very wise with the squad,” said Bax­ter. “Yes, we rested a four or five for the Scot­tish Cup tie but the boys who came in to the team did a fan­tas­tic job.

“They are top, top Ir­ish League foot­ballers who could prob­a­bly walk into any team.

“The cup tie is a huge game of football. We are now in a run of big games so squad ro­ta­tion be­comes very im­por­tant. We have Lin­field, then Carrick Rangers and after that we travel to Col­eraine.

“For four or five weeks we’ll be in ac­tion at the week­end and also in mid­week.” David Jef­frey’s BALLYMENA UNITED put their League Cup crown on the line when they en­ter­tain er­ratic ARDS at The Show­grounds.

With striker Johnny Mcmur­ray back to his best after in­jury, Jef­frey’s boys will be ex­pected to march into the semi-fi­nals.

“We’ve al­ready had a warn­ing after Ards’ win over Lin­field in the Shield a few weeks back,” said Jef­frey. “They also had an out­stand­ing re­sult against Gle­navon in the last round of this tour­na­ment so we’ ll be tak­ing noth­ing for granted.”

De­fender Aaron Smyth must sit out a one game ban as CARRICK RANGERS wel­come CLIFTONVILLE to the Loughshore Ho­tel Arena.

The ver­sa­tile Mark Surgenor be­lieves Rangers can use the he game to kick­start their sea­son. on.

“The Reds have been on na a roll but on our day we are match for any team in the he league,” he said. “We haven’t ’t been get­ting the wee breaks s of late but this game is a wel­come dis­trac­tion.”

In t o n i g h t ’s other game Clif ford Adams’ BALLYCLARE COM­RADES S make the trip to Stang­more re Park to face DUNGANNON ON SWIFTS. CARRICK RANGERS v CLIFTONVILLE (7.45)

DUNGANNON SWIFTS v BALLYCLARE COM­RADES (7.45)

THE FU­TURE’S BRIGHT player-boss Gary Hamil­ton cel­e­brates one of Clin­gan’s penal­ties SAMMY CLIN­GAN held his nerve to slot home two goals from the penalty spot to keep Gle­navon firmly on the ti­tle track.

The for­mer North­ern Ire­land in­ter­na­tional turned in an as­sured per­for­mance over the 90 min­utes and was re­warded with his sec­ond half strikes.

But it was an­other night of agony for Gary Haveron’s Glens,

BREN­DAN RODGERS has made £5mil­lion-rated Read­ing de­fender Liam Moore a top Jan­uary tar­get. The Celtic boss is ready to test the re­solve of his for­mer club with a move for the Roy­als’ 24-year-old cen­tre-back (left).

IT’S A TEAM GAME Cru­saders beat Dundee United on Satur­day and, inset, boss Stephen Bax­ter

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.