Belfast Telegraph

Hamilton set to put boots back on for Glenavon

By Stuart McKinley

Gary Hamilton hasn’t yet picked his Glenavon team for tomorrow’s crunch relegation clash with Lisburn Distillery.

Now that the January transfer window is open the Mourneview Park boss has four new faces at his disposal — and the biggest decision he faces is whether a certain G Hamilton will now appear on the team-sheet.

For any other manager in the league it would be a straightforward call.

Having a player widely regarded as one of the best finishers around — if not the top dog — available would be akin to a late Christmas present.

As the man in charge, however, Hamilton’s priorities have changed, but when it comes down to it Glenavon will be a better team with him in it and their chances of edging away from the relegation battle will improve greatly if he is on the pitch rather than on the sidelines.

“I haven’t made a decision on whether I will play, but I will be in the squad,” is as much as Hamilton is willing to give away to the Whites.

“If we’d beaten Linfield last week I wouldn’t have been in the squad, but we’ve lost Diarmuid O’Carroll as well, although Mark Miskimmin has done well since I took over and we’ve Tony Grant now as well.

“I’ve missed playing, anyone would, but not as much as I thought I would and that’s down to the players.

“When I came in I was thinking that I’d be happy to take a point from a few games, but that’s changed.

“The performances the boys have put in have made me believe that we have a chance of beating anyone and we’ll be approaching every game wanting to win it.

“We’ve played Linfield twice, Crusaders and Portadown; matches that are easy to get up for. Now the test comes over the next handful of games and we’ll see how the boys react.

“When you’re down at the bottom of the table every game is big, but I believe if we play to our capabilities we’ll win a lot more than we lose.”

As well as himself and returning hero Grant coming into the reckoning, Linfield loan duo Brian McCaul and Kris Lindsay are in line to start against the Whites.

One name that isn’t likely to figure on the Glenavon team-sheet again though is that of Scottish striker Kevin Kelbie.

“There’s been no fall out with Kevin, but with him being based in Scotland it’s a difficult situation and he doesn’t figure in my plans,” said Hamilton.

“If he was based here he could do extra training and get fit, but it’s not feasible to fly him in just to train.

“He is still under contract and the club is trying to come to an arrangement with Kevin over the remaining term.”

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