Belfast Telegraph

Lynch is relishing Inver showdown with leaders

Action stations: Tiernan Lynch (right) will renew touchline
rivalries with Cliftonville boss Paddy McLaughlin tomorrow
Action stations: Tiernan Lynch (right) will renew touchline rivalries with Cliftonville boss Paddy McLaughlin tomorrow
Adrian Rutherford

By Adrian Rutherford

Larne boss Tiernan Lynch insists they have no fears about facing Premiership leaders Cliftonville this weekend.

After winning promotion last term, the Invermen have made a fine start to life back in the big time and sit sixth approaching the halfway stage.

Tomorrow, they host the Reds, who went top last weekend after beating Ballymena United.

It is the first of two big matches for Larne, but Lynch feels his side are more than capable of meeting the challenge.

"Cliftonville and Linfield are our next two games - they are not easy, but then are there any easy games in this league?" he said.

"Cliftonville have just gone top of the league.

"We know how good a side they are, we know how dogged they are and how hard they work, but we have shown what we are about."

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Larne claimed their sixth win of the league season at Dungannon Swifts last weekend. Despite playing 63 minutes with 10 men, they held out, with Martin Donnelly grabbing the winner.

Lynch was pleased with the battling qualities his side showed and has been impressed with their progress.

"We don't fear anybody in the league," he added.

"I think we can wholeheartedly say that there hasn't been too many teams in this league that have really turned us over.

"If anything, we have probably been sloppy defensively and cost ourselves a couple of games.

"Maybe, too, we've not been clinical enough at times and that has cost us games as well.

"But we knew this was going to be a learning curve, we knew that we would have to adapt. I think every week that passes by, we are starting to show that."

Tomorrow's clash comes just six weeks after Larne lost 1-0 to Cliftonville at Solitude courtesy of a late Ryan Curran strike - and Lynch admits it gives them motivation ahead of the return meeting.

"We had a great game with them a few weeks ago," he added.

"We felt we were dealt a harsh blow at the end, so we have things we want to put right from that."

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