Glenavon fans could be forgiven for dreading derby day against Portadown over the last few years — but that is something manager Marty Quinn is determined to change.
The Ports have had much the better of things between the clubs, being unbeaten in 16 games against their local rivals and not losing at Shamrock Park against the Lurgan men in seven meetings.
That was until the last time Glenavon travelled across Craigavon — some 18 months ago because of the Ports’ being sent to the Championship a few weeks later — when the Lurgan Blues won 1-0 and that is a result that Quinn hopes will be the start of a fresh run for his team.
“All that is history now as far as I am concerned, all that matters is us trying to get a result this time and we are more than capable of doing that,” said Quinn.
“This is my first visit to Shamrock Park with Glenavon and I am determined to go for the win.
“It is a big game, they might have a couple of players missing, but that is irrelevant to me, they still have players with quality, but it’s about what we do.
“I don’t think my personal record there is too bad, I can remember some good days with Cliftonville and Coleraine — although there were a few that were not so good as well.”
Recent days have been good for Glenavon. They have lost just twice in the league this season and are the only team in the Carling Premiership who are unbeaten at home.
Those results see them sit in second place in the table and if they are successful at Shamrock Park today and Crusaders fail to win away to Cliftonville then Quinn’s men will overtake them at the summit.
“We are raring to go again and I am very pleased with the start that we have made to the season,” said Quinn.
“I am not surprised by our form, the way we finished last season was very strong and I have always said that getting clear of relegation is tougher than fighting it out at the other end of the table.
“That is where we want to be though.”