Marty Quinn is hoping to make it a perfect 10 games unbeaten tonight — and put an end to Glenavon’s miserable record in front of Sky’s cameras (Seaview, 7.45pm).
The Lurgan Blues have not tasted defeat since a 2-1 reverse at Dungannon Swifts on October 30 and the 21 points they have picked up in the interim have not only catapulted them into fifth place in the Carling Premiership standings, it also presents them with an opportunity to leapfrog opponents Crusaders in this evening’s Seaview showdown (7.45pm).
To do so, however, requires Quinn’s men to overcome the stage fright which has hit them so hard in previous televised outings.
A 3-0 defeat to Coleraine in November 2009 was followed up with a similar outcome when they faced the Crues last March and, with Sky set to pitch up at Mourneview Park for Glenavon’s showdown with Cliftonville at the end of the month, there’s no time like the present for them to start putting the record straight.
“We have under-performed before but our confidence is high,” said Quinn.
“There were reasons for what happened in the past, though.
“It was a nasty night in Coleraine, we had late cry-offs and our southern players were tired travelling so far on the day.
“Against Crusaders, we didn’t really turn up but I put my hands up and take the blame for that one.”
Quinn’s opposite number Stephen Baxter will hope the return of Colin Coates helpes bring an end to a run which has seen Crusaders pocket just five points from their last six games.
Skipper Coates missed last Tuesday night’s defeat to Linfield through suspension but returns to action this evening for a Crues side which welcomes former Limavady United, Ballymena, Cliftonville, Larne, Derry City and Insitute striker Vincent Sweeney into its ranks.
Baxter will also name a change of goalkeeper with both Chris Keenan and Niall Murphy competing to replace Aaron Hogg, who was released from his contract last week.