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Glenavon boss Gary Hamilton will bounce back from another Linfield hammering, says David Healy



Glenavon, and manager Gary Hamilton, suffered another difficult day at Windsor.

Glenavon, and manager Gary Hamilton, suffered another difficult day at Windsor.

Glenavon, and manager Gary Hamilton, suffered another difficult day at Windsor.

Linfield manager David Healy has backed Glenavon boss Gary Hamilton to bounce back from another heavy defeat at Windsor Park.

Hamilton's Lurgan Blues have now conceded 15 goals across their two visits to the National Stadium this season, going down 8-1 on Saturday afternoon to add to a 7-0 loss in October.

Former Glenavon winger Joel Cooper scored twice while Stephen Fallon, Kirk Millar, Matthew Clarke, Jimmy Callacher, Shayne Lavery and Jordan Stewart all netted.

The result leaves Glenavon with just one win in their last six games in all competitions and down in seventh position in the table, having already conceded 15 more goals and lost five more games than across the entirety of last season.

It's a team in transition, with Hamilton admitting he is now focused on preparing a squad for next season with Andrew Mitchell, Caolan Marron and Stephen Murray moving on while Danny Purkis, Dylan Davidson, Calum Birney, Matthew Snoddy (loan), Conan Byrne and Greg Moorhouse have all arrived.

Consdering that backdrop to the startling result, Healy has backed Hamilton to roar back from the current predicament, having guided Glenavon to top three finishes in four of the last five seasons.

"I've a lot of respect for Gary (Hamilton) and his team and they've caused us numerous problems in the four years that I've been here," Healy told the BBC. "To go and beat them convincingly was obviously pleasing.

"Me and Gary go back a long way. I wouldn't say we sympathise with each other. We have feelings for each other like all the manager and nobody wants to be on the end of a seven goal defeat.

"I've been in close contact with Gary over the last 12 months. He has had a lot of highs and one things he always has done and always will do is bounce back. He will respond to whatever

"They're struggling at the minute and Gary will be disappointed but they have good players there. He's trying to make changes not only for this season but going forward as well. I certainly wish him well in that."

Linfield, however, got their title challenge back on top after last week's 0-0 draw with Dungannon.

"We probably weren't as clinical and ruthless as we should have been but I've got no complaints today," he said.

"There have been a lot of questions asked about these boys. People were starting to talk about other teams which in my eyes is good. Other teams have moved ahead of us but one thing we can control is look after what we're doing.

"The players have done that in my time here and long may it continue.

"Joel (Cooper) was exceptional. He has got that talent where sometimes going past players looks easy but it's not. In my career, I probably never went past anybody. He has that knack and he's a joy to work with. He wants to learn, wants to get better but he was exceptional."

Ahead of Tuesday's Premiership game at Larne, Healy confirmed that captain Jamie Mulgrew is on crutches but that defender Mark Haughey is nearing a return to fitness.

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