Glenavon can push on and claim second place, claims Kris Lindsay
Skipper Kris Lindsay believes Glenavon are equipped to improve on last season's Danske Premiership third-placed finish. The Lurgan Blues entertain Cliftonville at Mourneview Park tomorrow knowing that another three points would haul them to within two points of Gerard Lyttle's boys.
Lindsay, a title winner with Linfield, insists it's important for his team to 'push on' and keep an automatic European qualification slot in their sights.
"Crusaders appear to have the title wrapped up at this stage... it's theirs to lose," said Lindsay. "But we are in a little group that includes Linfield, Cliftonville and Coleraine that are realistically all playing for second place.
"The game against Cliftonville is start of a tasty run of fixtures for us because we'll have Glentoran, Portadown, Linfield, Crusaders and Coleraine all over the next month or so.
"Cliftonville are always a big test. They have a lot of quality in their team, but these are the games that we must win if we are to make an impact.
"We put together a great little run at the end of last season that got us up to third. We are probably in a better position this time, so we must push on. Our aim has to be second and an automatic European qualification spot."
Lindsay insists the club made a major statement of intent by agreeing terms with Daniel Kearns for the rest of the season.
"To be honest, I don't think he'll be playing in our league after the summer," added Lindsay.
"Kearnsie is a class act, a quality player, and he can be a big asset for us. Fair play to Gary (Hamilton) and the board for keeping him at the club.
"We've also Ciaran Martyn and Dave Elebert back in full training after serious injury. They'll be ready anytime now, so they will be like two new signings."
One piece of bad news that emerged from Mourneview Park this week was that Kyle Neill will not play again for the rest of the season after hospital scans revealed he has a torn cruciate ligament and will require surgery.
Meanwhile, Cliftonville manager Gerard Lyttle is not optimistic of having new signing Daniel Hughes fit for the Mourneview Park clash.
The striker has yet to pull on the red shirt following his transfer window move from Warrenpoint Town. He sustained an ankle injury in training which is proving troublesome.
Lyttle is also without top scorer David McDaid because of a shoulder problem.
"We are going through a little spate of injuries at the minute," he said. "All of a sudden there are a few little niggles with players - it's coming at a bad time.
"Daniel has been unfortunate. He injured his ankle and became very swollen. There is not much chance of him being involved against Glenavon.
"It's never an easy place to go. We got a 1-0 win there in the opening match of the season, but games are always very tight.
"Gary Hamilton has done a tremendous job down there. They are a big physical side and they play to their strengths."