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Wolves ‘world class superstars’ gave us a masterclass – Baxter

Crusaders manager Stephen Baxter admits Wolves’ ‘world class superstars’ gave his side a ‘masterclass’ in ball retention and movement.
But Baxter joked he checked his passport when Crusaders stunned the Premier League side by taking a 14th-minute lead through Paul Heatley before Raul Jimenez (2), Ryan Bennett and Jordan Forsythe’s goal sealed a 4-1 win for Nuno Espirito Santo’s side and 6-1 on aggregate in the Europa League second qualifying round tie.
“To see world superstars play the game the way they played it, Wolves gave us a masterclass in ball retention and movement,” said Baxter. “It’s never easy losing 4-1 to anyone in a football match, but when you lose 4-1 to Wolves, you maybe say, ‘fair enough’. To play a team of that quality over two legs and lose 6-1 I think says a lot about what we have accomplished here.”
Baxter could barely believe his eyes when his team went ahead. “To take the lead and scare them for all of 30 seconds was good – it was a nice moment,” he said. “I did check my passport when we scored! It was a wonderful moment to see the ball hit the back of the net. The whole bench celebrated it with the fans.”
Baxter was honoured that Wolves played their strongest side in both legs and revealed how seriously he thought the visitors regarded the tie. “I think they did us an honour really in playing their best team in the two legs,” he added. “To see a Premier League team here with their best side trying to win was very special. If you had heard the roar coming out of the Wolves changing room, they were trying their eye strings out as if they were playing Liverpool. That’s the biggest compliment they could pay us and for our wee team to stand up to it was fantastic.”
Despite the unflattering scoreline, Baxter was delighted with the way their gameplan went. “I’m very proud of how our boys have handled the two legs,” he said. “But credit our boys for the way they prepared for these two games and how they shut the game down and not allowed them to play. They could have opened us up at will, but we thwarted them time after time.
“They are really top, top guys in my eyes because they were playing £30m players all across the team and when you see them up close and personal and the way they play and move the ball about and the way they operate, and for us to stand up against that has been fantastic.”
Baxter paid tribute to Nuno, who had praised Crusaders for their spirited rearguard action in last week’s 2-0 first leg defeat at Molineux. “I wished Nuno well,” he said. “Hopefully we’ll be able to watch them on TV in the final. They’re top people, with a top manager and we wish them well.”