Larne skipper Cosgrove wary of derby day danger posed by Carrick

Larne captain Tomas Cosgrove is hoping for a big crowd at Inver Park on St Stephen's Day
Larne captain Tomas Cosgrove is hoping for a big crowd at Inver Park on St Stephen's Day

Danske Bank Premiership: Larne v Carrick Rangers (St Stephen's Day, 5.30pm)

LARNE captain Tomas Cosgrove believes the Invermen will require a professional performance if the league leaders are to see off Carrick Rangers on St Stephen's Day.

Larne go into the Christmas period with a two-point lead at the top of the Danske Bank Premiership, after Cliftonville closed the gap with back-to-back wins.

The home side will start as favourites on Monday, however Cosgrove is well aware that it could become a potential banana skin against a side keen to claim the derby bragging rights.

“Carrick have proven they’re a good team this season”, Cosgrove said.

“They play to their strengths and we know they make it tough for teams. All of our games against them recently have been tight.

“Stuart King has them well drilled and well organised. They have got themselves up the table this season and they’re not there for no reason.

“When you add into the mix it’s a derby, it’s Boxing Day and there will be a big crowd there anything can happen in these games so we need to be professional if we’re going to get three points.”

Larne come into this game with back-to-back victories, after suffering consecutive defeats last month.

Despite last weekend’s game with Ballymena being called off, Cosgrove feels the momentum is still with the leaders.

He added: “We just didn’t play well in the second half of the Linfield game and against Coleraine there are no excuses we didn’t deserve anything out of that game

“That’s just football at the end of the day, you can’t play well every game. It happens to teams all over the world.

“However, the boys have bounced back well from that. We dug deep against Glenavon to get a win and then we took that into Newry the following week to get back-to-back wins.

“We were disappointed to have the Ballymena game called off because we felt we have been building momentum up again.

“It’s maybe been a blessing though, because it’s given us a chance to do some more work on the training ground in the meantime.”

Monday’s game will have a 5.30pm kick-off as Larne look to maximise their support and Cosgrove is looking forward to the experience, from a player's point of view.

“We’re really looking forward to the game and it’s going to be under the lights this year, something I haven’t experienced before," he said.

“Hopefully that works in our favour.

“Christmas games are always very special, I’ve been there on both sides of it. Firstly as a fan and now for the last while as a player.

“It becomes part of your Christmas ritual and we’re really glad to have it.”