Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 26 July 2014

There are goals after Larmour at Crues

Darren Lockhart has told Crusaders fans "don't panic, we can score goals without David Larmour".

Larmour's season was over after just one full game when he suffered a knee injury in the first-half of the north Belfast derby against Cliftonville at Seaview.

Cruciate ligament and cartilage damage was diagnosed, resulting in a huge personal blow for the striker.

And manager Stephen Baxter must be wondering just how much his ace marksman will be missed in the months ahead.

Local football fans know all about the former Linfield favourite's appetite for goals and remarkable work-rate - and he is sure to be a huge loss to the Shore Road side this season.

The Crues are determined to maintain the progress they achieved last campaign after sealing promotion to the big time in sparkling style, however even more pressure has suddenly been heaped on the shoulders of strikers Davy Rainey, Stevie Coulter and Martin Reilly.

The midfielders, including Lockhart, will also be expected to feature prominently in the goalscoring charts and the ex-Oval favourite has no problem with that.

"Going forward this season we have always looked like scoring goals but David's injury is a massive blow to him and the team," said Lockhart.

"But it's up to the other players in the team to show what they can do. Martin has come in and scored on his debut.

"He is very sharp, good in the air and on the deck. And of course we have Davy Rainey and we all know what he can do.

"Those guys are two out and out centre-forwards, well capable of scoring 20 goals-plus a season.

" The midfielders will also chip in with plenty of goals. I think Chris Morrow scored 12 to 14 last season and it's important the goals come from throughout the team."

Lockhart has a real spring in his step now that he has crossed the city to north Belfast.

The 33-year-old won every domestic medal going with the Glens but he still plans to boost his trophy count at Crusaders.

"There are so many talented, young and energetic players at the Crues and there is also a lot of ambition at Seaview," he added.

"We were surprised to see Stephen Shaw leave but Gary Smyth's arrival is a tremendous boost.

"If we can tighten up at the back - and we are working hard in training to do that - we can look forward to a successful season."

The Crues can still qualify for the knock-out stages of the CIS Insurance Cup and a win at home to Limavady United on Saturday would virtually seal their place in the last eight. After four games, the Crues are four points adrift of the Reds but two ahead of Donegal Celtic and three clear of the Roesiders.

"Cliftonville have beaten us twice so we need the points and we need a win," added Lockhart.

"At Crusaders we are setting our targets high and we want to win trophies. I have no doubt the squad is strong enough to do that. I think we are in for a very competitive season and teams such as Crusaders are going to give the Glentorans and Linfields of this world a tough time."

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