AHEAD of Edinburgh Rugby’s Pro14 derby clash with Glasgow Warriors on Saturday, head coach Richard Cockerill is hopeful that the inexperienced referee in charge of the game will not be influenced by the home side’s back-chat.

Edinburgh travel to Scotstoun at the weekend for the first leg of the 1872 Cup, with inexperienced Englishman, Ben Blaine, in charge of matters. And taking into account their past behaviour, Cockerill thinks he knows what to expect.

“Glasgow, notoriously, especially at home, they complain a lot and they appeal a lot,” said Cockerill.

“There is a lot of shouting and whingeing especially from nine, 10 and two. We have a relatively inexperienced referee, it’s only his sixth Pro14 game, so there will be some pressure on him.”

Edinburgh have shown the better form of the two sides this season, with Cockerill’s men having won five of their league games to Glasgow’s three victories, as well as Edinburgh remaining unbeaten in the European Challenge Cup but Cockerill refutes the suggestion that his side have the pressure upon them.

“Bo****ks we are favourites,” said Cockerill of the suggestion his side are expected to win.

“They have got their own stadium, the Australian National coach. They have more budget, a bigger squad. They are in the Heineken Cup, we’re not. They are clearly a much better team than us.”

Edinburgh have had the better of the two in the 1872 Cup in recent years, winning four of the last five. And while Cockerill may be talking up Glasgow as the side with the expectation up on their shoulders, he remains quietly confident that his side can come out on top on Saturday.

“We have been working hard since I arrived to be durable and have respect when we play. If we get it right, we can beat any team on its day which we are slowly doing and proving,” he said.

“They have not been playing as well as they have over the past two years but we will just keep building on what we are doing. We are going there to take as many points as we can as we want to be in the play-offs.

“I don’t think we’ve got a chip on our shoulder about them being better than us or anything, we’re just going there to take the points because that’s what we want and we want to beat our local rivals because rivalry is good. That little bit of tribalism is good and I want us to go there and show what a good team we are.”

Emotions can run high in derby matches and Cockerill is aware that if his side are to return to Murrayfield with a victory, they must maintain their discipline. But his players will certainly not be going easy on Glasgow, despite the fact many are international teammates and good friends

“We want it to be hard, we don’t want to compromise ourselves by being too nice,” he said

“The Edinburgh players can be quite nice, polite public schoolboys - those rough Glaswegians are a bit different to us so we want to make sure we won’t be intimidated, we want to he physical and we want do what we want to do.”

Cockerill has had the luxury of rotating his squad this season, with almost every player who has come in stepping up to the plate in impressive fashion. And while Cockerill does not suggest his side are the finished article, he is pleased with the attitude his squad are showing this season so far.

“We’ve had very good continuity within the squad. There was a lot of change in my first year here but since then, there’s been minimal change. We’ve had to replace guys who have retired and some guys have moved on but not many and we think we’ve replaced and recruited well,” he said.

“Even when we’re not great like last week (against Wasps), we’re capable of staying in games and winning them. We’ve got to do that this weekend. They’re a good side and there’s a lot of threat about them. Their forward pack is probably playing as good as they’ve played, their line-out drive and defence is very good, they’ve scrummaged very well against the French teams in the last couple of rounds. So it’s hopefully going to be a feisty contest and one that we will hopefully remember for the right reasons.