FULL POST-MATCH REACTION: The view of Crusaders manager Stephen Baxter after their 2-1 Premiership win over Loughgall

Crusaders' Paul Heatley celebrates his last minute winner. PIC: INPHO/Stephen Hamilton
Crusaders' Paul Heatley celebrates his last minute winner. PIC: INPHO/Stephen Hamilton

On the match

"I knew it was going to be a battle.

"I watched several games this week of Loughgall at home so I knew how they would play on a tight pitch, knew where the ball would be going and we needed to make sure we didn’t let them get into the areas they like to play.

"I felt we dominated possession throughout and were the team in control of the game.

"There was nothing coming in behind us, our goalkeeper had very little to do and we were gaining momentum throughout the game.

"There was a period where we really stepped it up and had them on the back foot.

"We got the goal and then a team have to come at you a bit, so we’re a bit disappointed with how the goal comes from a big mishit and it’s knocked back in and they score.

"When you’ve someone like Paul Heatley, who wasn’t fit to play here today and said he would give me 10 minutes, comes on and gives you 10 minutes like that, it isn’t too bad is it?

"I told him to go and rest for another week now because he wasn’t fit to play, Adam (Lecky) wasn’t fit to play and he gave us 10 or 15 minutes.

"That’s the mark of good professionals who go to the wire for you and help to get you over the line.

“Paul has that bit of magic and quality that scores you a winning goal and we fully deserved the win – we were the better team by some distance.”

On injuries

"We were (down to the bare bones).

"Jonny James is 17 years old and has been doing remarkably well in our reserve team, so we’re very pleased with him and he was the only fit defender coming from our U20s that would be capable of playing at this level.

"The injuries are mounting up on us.

"Jimmy (Callacher) and Rory McKeown are both out for the season, BJ (Burns) was suspended today and Ben (Kennedy) wasn’t fit, but that’s normal football and you have to work with it and try your best.

"We don’t make any fuss about it and will just get on with it.

"We had to put a couple of people into different positions to make sure we had enough to win this match and I thought Robbie Weir, Daniel (Larmour) and Josh (Robinson) were magnificent – nothing went in behind them all day.

"Ross Clarke was man of the match – he was absolutely superb and playing that centre forward role in beside Jordan Owens, who was a handful all day.”

On Robbie Weir

"He can play that position (in defence) and has done in a few games over the last three or four years, but he’s that good of a footballer that he can play anywhere with the level he has played at.

"He’s a very tactically aware footballer, can organise and that’s what we needed.

"We knew this would be a difficult game on a tight pitch and that we needed to match them in every department and we did that very well.”

On away form (Crues have only lost one of eight matches on the road in Premiership this season) being much improved from last term

"It was horrible last season and we worked very hard on aspects of our game and how we do it away from home.

"We’ve worked very hard on that to get more points and that has been working well for us.

"You always need to have focus on that and picking up points away from home is always crucial.”

On being impressed by Loughgall

"I’m very impressed.

"I’ve probably been most impressed of any team that has come into the league and others around them – they are the team that has came in and competed exceptionally well.

"No team has came here and gone away with a 3-0 or 4-0 win – a one goal margin has won the game here most times.

"They beat Larne here, Linfield won 2-0, they played well against Glentoran and Coleraine – all the matches have been really tight.

"No one has rolled them over because their style of play suits them on this pitch and that’s what you have to do at this level.

"You have to find a way to survive and they are doing that exceptionally well.”