Belfast Telegraph

Joel Cooper is wary of a backlash from Glentoran

By Adrian Rutherford

Joel Cooper admits Glenavon are ready for a Glentoran backlash today.

The fixture at Mourneview Park brings together two sides in very different form. Glenavon are flying, having lost just one of their last 11 league games, while the east Belfast men are on a four-match losing run in the Danske Bank Premiership, and were routed 4-0 on their own ground by bottom of the table Warrenpoint last weekend.

It was a result which shocked Glens boss Alan Kernaghan, who will be demanding a reaction from his side when they make the trip to Mid-Ulster.

And Cooper concedes Glenavon must be wary, although the 19-year-old winger believes they are good enough to win the game.

"They will be looking a reaction to last weekend," he said.

"We have to keep it solid in the first 15 minutes or so, but we are on a good run and we are confident we can win the game.

"We're on our own ground, it's a bigger pitch and we're able to move the ball around. If we can work hard I believe we are good enough to win."

Cooper scored the winner as Glenavon claimed a 1-0 win at Dungannon last weekend.

It was their seventh victory in 10 league games, and took them fourth, but Cooper is not satisfied, adding: "We're into fourth but we always want to better ourselves and now we want into third. We'll just take it game by game and our focus is on Glentoran."

Cooper is reluctant to place a target on what the Lurgan club can achieve this season.

"It's just to win as many games as we can and see where it takes us. We look at each game as it comes and don't get ahead of ourselves," he added.

Glenavon have lost just once in the league since October 24.

Ironically, their only defeat came at the Oval where goals from Jonathan Smith and Steven Gordon gave the Glens a 2-0 win.

Cooper admits confidence is growing by the week. He says: "We expect to win every game, no matter who we're playing against."

Belfast Telegraph


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