Belfast Telegraph

Glenavon are aiming to take a leaf out of Coleraine's book, admits Tuffey


Dreaming big: Jonny Tuffey
Dreaming big: Jonny Tuffey

By Billy Weir

Coleraine have drawn up the blueprint for aspiring parochial teams to follow, according to Glenavon skipper Jonny Tuffey.

The shot-stopper will lead his table-topping side out at Ballycastle Road tomorrow against a Bannsiders outfit that is still getting to grips with life after Oran Kearney.

Rodney McAree's tenure has made a spluttering start, with four draws on the spin, but with such an impressive home record, Tuffey knows that it is only a matter of time before they move back into top gear.

"It's a huge game," explained the former Northern Ireland goalkeeper. "Coleraine are on a fantastic unbeaten run at home and it's not an easy place to go, but we'll train hard this week and take care of our own business.

"I'm sure it'll be an interesting game. Rodney has gone in there and he'll be looking to implement his style and structure and what he wants from the squad."

While Coleraine have stuttered, the Mourneview men have been making giant strides since their opening day defeat at home to Linfield, but since then they have dropped only two points to keep their noses in front of the Blues.

The plan, which Coleraine have followed superbly in the past 18 months, is a simple one and one Tuffey is keen to see continue.

"A bit of continuity and a bit of belief in the squad, where you have that quality with younger talent that's hungry, have no fear and loads of energy and alongside one or two older heads to steady the ship and I think it's a great balance," he said.

"Coleraine have shown that for the last 18 months and it's made for the other clubs to look at it."

And manager Gary Hamilton is also a fan of the Bannsiders' approach but is determined to end their run of 23 home league games without defeat.

"It's not as if they're lucky, they've been doing it week in, week out, but somebody has to beat them at some stage, and we aim to be that team that beats them," he said.

Belfast Telegraph


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