Defender Johnny Taylor believes Ards have the capabilities of matching any side in the league – and aim to prove it against title holders Crusaders at the Bangor Fuels Arena today.
Colin Nixon’s boys have plummeted down the standings of late and currently sit 10th in the Danske Bank Premiership table, only two points ahead of basement clubs Dungannon Swifts and Newry Town.
But they’ve already knocked Linfield off the summit by claiming an impressive 2-1 home win – courtesy of a double hit from Mark Kelly – last month, which backs up Taylor’s theory of being able to live with the best!
However, they were brought crashing down to earth when dumped out of the County Antrim Shield by Larne before crashing to a 4-0 loss against Glentoran at the Oval.
“The Linfield result proved we can grind out points against the big teams,” said Taylor who looks set to have to sit out today’s game through suspension.
“Unfortunately, we never kicked on from that. We lost to Larne a few days later… the boys were a bit leggy going into that game because we put so much into the Linfield match.
“Unfortunately, with the amount of injuries we’ve had, we haven’t had a lot of options in terms of changing the team. The Glentoran result was then a big disappointment. We didn’t play well at all.”
With most of the walking wounded on the way back, Taylor reckons they’ll give the champions plenty to think about.
He added: “It’s a big game, they don’t come much more difficult.
“We know we can match the best – our problem is doing it on a consistent basis. It would be fair to say, Crusaders have been blowing hot and cold, a bit like ourselves.
“So, it’s down to us and how we approach the game. We’ll be looking to take three points, especially as we are at home.
“We are gradually getting players back. Eamon McAllister is still struggling, he’s maybe another week away from returning, but having Jonny Frazer available again is a big plus. He’ll give 100 per cent in every game and likes to get at full backs and defenders.”