MIKE GRADY has urged his players to improve as he bids to continue North Wales Crusaders’ derby day dominance over rivals South Wales Ironmen.

Head coach Grady was far from impressed as Crusaders saw their League One Shield final hopes disintegrate courtesy of a 22-16 home defeat to Coventry Bears last weekend.

And Grady, himself a former South Wales Ironmen coach, has warned his team to bounce back strongly with Crusaders looking to extend their unbeaten record against their Welsh rivals.

“The lads are now playing for their contracts next year,” he said ahead of tomorrow’s clash. “Last weekend’s performance was totally unacceptable on a number of levels and we owe the fans a strong finish to the season.

“I can’t pinpoint one area that went wrong against Coventry – I think that it was our worst performance of the season and with just three games to go that shouldn’t have happened.

“The lads are as disappointed as I am and we’ll now look to put things right this weekend against South Wales Ironmen.

“It’s a game that means a lot to the fans, staff and players of both clubs so we need to be on the right side of the result.

“Having coached South Wales before, I have been on both sides of the divide and am all too aware of the importance of winning the derby.

“The Crusaders haven’t lost a Welsh derby yet, and I don’t want to be the person in charge when they do.

“South Wales will up their game, but we have a point to prove after our poor performance last weekend.”

The Ironmen, beaten 64-7 at Hunslet last weekend, signed 12 players on deadline day, and Grady is expecting a difficult 80 minutes