Coleraine manager Oran Kearney is relishing continued progress from his players - after Saturday’s defeat marked the first reverse in four meetings with the two Danske Bank Premiership title favourites.
The Bannsiders left Seaview frustrated at a single-goal defeat on Saturday, having pushed the defending champions hard on an afternoon in which home goalkeeper Sean O’Neill proved the key player.
A run of three 1-1 draws over past tests against Linfield and the Crues can be considered evidence of Coleraine’s growing confidence against any opposition irrespective or reputation or records.
“I suppose there is severe disappointmnent not coming away with victory or even a draw,” said Kearney. “We were more naive than anything and all our endeavour and good play was not enough.
“We did not create enough gilt-edged opportunities but Crusaders really got that trademark goal.
“Sean is one of the best goalkeepers in the league and made four or five very good saves.
“But this league is about winning games and points and, in a month’s time, people will forget the stats and just look at the result.
“But none of us take five or six hours out of our Saturday to go anywhere and expect to finish second-best or go through the motions.
“Home or away we are in it to win games.”
Coleraine visit Glentoran on Saturday, with kick-off 3 o’clock.
“We just keep on going in the same way we always have, by building and working hard,” said Kearney. “We are continually holding our own and fighting it out so can take confidence from that moving forward.
“We will train hard this week and go again.”