Belfast Telegraph

Glentoran morale at rock bottom: Hamilton

By Chris Holt

Gary Hamilton has admitted that Glentoran are suffering from a crisis of confidence that is threatening to derail the champions’ title challenge.

The Glens suffered a remarkable SEVENTH league defeat of the season on Tuesday night when they were hit by a Portadown sucker punch at Shamrock Park.

That led to the east Belfast men slipping to third in the table, a point behind leaders Linfield but crucially, having played two games more.

Hamilton and his team-mates are now playing catch-up and are reliant on other teams doing them a favour.

That isn’t beyond the realms of possibility as Linfield have lost six and drawn six themselves this campaign.

Now the Glens have to be prepared to take advantage of any future slip-ups at Windsor Park and to do that, Hamilton believes they have to stop conceding early goals — a problem that is rocking team morale at present.

“I’m not blaming the defence, because you defend as a team — sometimes you make a mistake up front, like I did against Coleraine, I gave the ball away and they went up and scored,” he said.

“We just happen to be conceding too many goals. It’s the first goal that’s the killer.

“We have been starting games ok, like on Tuesday in the first 20 minutes I thought there was only going to be one winner, then ‘bang’ we concede a stupid goal again.

“Whenever we concede that early goal confidence goes down and it takes maybe to go in at half-time and have a chat and get ourselves together and the boys come out and start playing again.

“Unless you get an equaliser early it is always going to be hard to get anything from the game.

“It is a bit of a confidence thing too.”

He added: “It’s easy to try and pinpoint it at the minute because as a team we aren’t defending well.

“We are conceding goals every game so that is going to affect your confidence as a team.”

Hamilton went on to say that it’s only natural for players to react with heads bowed when they go a goal down on such a consistent basis.

But rather than put the emphasis just on the backline, he admits the forward players haven’t been doing their bit either.

“It doesn’t matter what sport you are in — ok you might have two or three players who have been in the situation before but no matter who you are, if you go a goal down you go, ‘here we go again’,” he added.

“It’s a natural reaction in any sport you play and the way things

are, we are missing chances at the other end too and from an attacking point of view that hits confidence too.

“At the end of the day, the league doesn’t lie and we are conceding goals every game and conceding them early. At the other end we aren’t scoring enough goals and it’s a combination of both that is affecting confidence.”

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