17 Sep 2023

Crusaders boss Stephen Baxter is the NIFWA Manager of the Month for August.

The Crues enjoyed an unbeaten month in the league with wins over Ballymena United, Dungannon Swifts, Carrick Rangers and Newry City.

At the start of the month, the North Belfast side lost 3-2 in extra-time to Norwegian giants Rosenborg, a result Baxter believes helped inspire his team to a good start in the league.

He said: "Our full focus in pre-season was on our European campaign, in truth the league was the furthest thing from my mind.

"But our performances in Europe this summer superseded anything I thought we would achieve. That time together and those good performances carried into the league campaign and allowed us to hit the ground running.

"We will try and keep that going for as long as we can. It is certainly nice to win this award, as it means our good start to the season has been recognised."

It is the 21st time in his career that Stephen Baxter has won this award.