Belfast Telegraph

World Cup 2018

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Clingan's spot on for Lurgan Blues but midfield veteran warns against complacency

By Alex Mills

Sammy Clingan is in the richest scoring form of his career.

The 33-year-old midfielder is Glenavon's second highest goal scorer this season - and is now chasing down ace predator Andy Mitchell.

When the former Northern Ireland international scored twice from the penalty spot in the midweek Danske Bank Premiership win over Glentoran at the Oval, it brought his tally to six.

Clingan is bang on course for a personal best. He did score seven when he was on the books of Coventry City, but that was over three-year period, while he also pocketed six when he was at Norwich City.

With the Lurgan Blues due to visit struggling Ballinamallard United today, the roving midfielder believes he is not finished yet.

"It's unbelievable - six so far, but they have all come from the penalty spot," chuckles Sammy. "It's a bit strange being second in the club's scoring charts because Sammy Clingan was a name never associated with scoring goals.

"The manager asked me at the start of the season would I start hitting the penalties after Andy Mitchell had missed one in pre-season. Thankfully they all have gone in.

"But I don't think Andy has anything to worry about in terms of me catching up with him."

Clingan, however, is willing to put personal issues to the side, insisting the club's impressive winning form is more important. The Lurgan Blues approach today's game five points behind table topping Coleraine.

When the top two met a fortnight ago, it finished all square at Mourneview Park, although Glenavon had to play a large part of the game with only 10 men as James Singleton was dismissed.

"It was a massive point we got against Coleraine, even though some of the boys came into the dressing room disappointed," added Clingan. "They thought we deserved more.

"We have to just tick off very game and try to pick up as many as points possible. We have youth blended with experience in the team. It's not the biggest squad, so we have to try and keep everyone fit.

"Although Ballinamallard are rooted at the bottom of the table, they are a difficult side to play against, so we can't afford to let complacency creep in.

"It's good to be in this position, but it's still far too early to consider ourselves as title candidates."

Belfast Telegraph

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