Belfast Telegraph

Glentoran coach disrespectful, says Hamilton

By Graham Luney

Gary Hamilton has hit back at Eddie Patterson after the Glentoran boss accused the Lurgan Blues of playing "route one football" on Saturday.

The Glens earned the bragging rights following a 2-1 victory at Mourneview Park but former Oval favourite Hamilton felt Patterson was "disrespectful" to his team in his post-match analysis.

Patterson said after the win: "We had to cope with Glenavon's route one football the whole game but we knew what to expect and we prepared for it in training.

"We were the team which wanted to play the football on what I must say was a quality surface."

Those comments failed to put a smile on Hamilton's face and he felt his men deserved a little more credit from the former Cliftonville supremo.

"I felt it was disrespectful to make those comments about us just playing a long ball game," said former Northern Ireland international Hamilton.

"We did not comment on how Glentoran were playing. I think people should worry about their own business. I prefer to talk about incidents within the game and I don't see why anyone would want to comment on a team's style in a negative way like that.

"They set up to play three in midfield and it was very difficult for us to compete against them in there. I also felt we showed them too much respect and that can happen when players come up against a Linfield or Glentoran side.

"But I felt we produced the most shots in the 90 minutes and we weren't the team who were time-wasting. When the ball went out of play they were slowing the game down and wasting time.

"We were a big threat to them going forward, created some great chances but one or two mistakes cost us. But you would expect Glentoran with their bigger budget to beat a team like ours."

Goals from David Howland and David Scullion put the Glens in the driving seat but when Hamilton's corner was touched in by Andy McGrory it was a nervy finish for the east-Belfast men.

The Lurgan Blues battered Ballymena United 6-3 at the Showgrounds in their opening fixture and defender William Murphy, who shone in that demolition job, could return to the starting line-up for tomorrow's home battle with Coleraine (7.45).

Glenavon wanted the fixture brought forward as Brendan Shannon and Kris Lindsay have Irish FA commitments on Saturday.

"People were talking about us being a top side after we beat Ballymena United on the opening day but you don't become a good team overnight," added Hamilton. "It takes time for the new players to gel and to develop an understanding of each other's game."

Hamilton is happy to face Coleraine tomorrow night as Friday evening football should see more supporters converge on Mourneview.

"I think it can work in our area as in Mid-Ulster you have a lot of people playing football on a Saturday but this weekend they can get behind us," he added.

"These supporters are able to attend midweek matches and we can benefit from their backing on Friday."

* Cliftonville defender Ciaran Donaghy has confirmed he has left the club and is looking for a new challenge.

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