KEIGHLEY Cougars head coach Craig Lingard believes that a large crowd can inspire a famous victory for his side in Sunday's eagerly-anticipated derby clash with Bradford Bulls.

It is the first time the two clubs have met in league action for 41 years and Cougar Park will be buzzing as Craig Lingard's men tackle the BetFred League One championship favourites.

Lingard said: "I hope that it will affect the players in a positive way and spur them on as opposed to putting them in their shell.

"This is certainly a massive match and it's the first league game against Bradford in many, many years. You're looking for the players embrace the atmosphere."

Lingard knows that his side have to rely on more than their fans if they are to pull off the victory, and outlined what they will need to do on the pitch during the 80 minutes.

He admitted: "It's going to be a very difficult game. We've got to try and be strong down the middle, keep knocking the sets out.

"Bradford are going to try and pressure us, so we know we've got to keep the ball, and we'll be looking to play to our attacking strengths."

The game seems certain to ignite the passions of both the players and the crowd. Last month's fiery friendly at Odsal saw four players sent off, but Lingard is untroubled by that.

"I'm not going to go back over what happened last time we played Bradford, we've got to look forward rather than looking back over that," he insisted.

"It's a derby, it's going to be feisty at times, it's going to have a lively atmosphere."

One player who will not be featuring at the weekend is Davey Dixon. The Cougars winger has only recently returned from the Commonwealth Games in Australia, where he starred for Scotland 9s as they won the Shield Final.

Lingard was due to give Dixon a run out in last night's reserve game against Bradford and is quick to point out that he needs to win his place back.

He said: "Harry Aaronson has played on the wing in the previous two games and has done really well.

"Davey hasn't played for us since the start of February so it's only right that he has an 80 minute spell in the reserves to put himself back into the contention."

Even without the exciting Dixon, Lingard feels that his Cougars side have what it takes to spring a surprise.