Belfast Telegraph

Glenavon dealt double injury blow but sidelined Jonny Tuffey backs team-mates for turnaround

Out: Glenavon goalkeeper Jonny Tuffey
Out: Glenavon goalkeeper Jonny Tuffey

By Steven Beacom

Glenavon goalkeeper Jonny Tuffey insists the players at the club are hurting just like the supporters following their poor start to the season.

The Lurgan Blues enter today's vital league game at Warrenpoint fourth from bottom with only seven points from their opening nine games.

When Glenavon lost 6-0 to Larne in their previous league game having been beaten 7-0 at Linfield the week before, some fans suggested Hamilton should go. Surely, though, given Hamilton's record as manager, which includes Irish Cup success and third-place finishes in the Danske Bank Premiership, he deserves time to turn it around.

There were some encouraging signs last week when Glenavon lost 3-1 at Raith Rovers in the Challenge Cup and they will be hoping to build on that at Milltown this afternoon against bottom-of-the-table Warrenpoint.

Tuffey has been one of the mainstays of the good days in recent years at Mourneview Park and his experience and ability will be missed while he recovers from an ankle ligament injury picked up in Scotland. He's joined on the sidelines by defender Caolan Marron, who will be out for up to three weeks with a abductor strain picked up on international duty with Northern Ireland Under 21s.

"People are talking about a crisis but there is a long way to go. There is a lot of hard work to be done but I fully believe we can turn it around," said former Northern Ireland goalkeeper Tuffey.

"The most important thing is to get back to what we are good at. The one thing I can assure anyone is that the lads are hurting. When you are in a changing room after a loss it hurts.

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"Conceding 13 goals in two games is hard to take. It is demoralising at times but, with experience, you can pick through it, and as one of the more experienced players in the squad it's about trying to pass on that experience to the players and trying to keep spirits as high as we possibly can.

"You don't become a bad player overnight, and we have a lot of good players and a lot of good young players that need guidance and looking after. With the senior players in the squad, they will certainly get that."

In Warrenpoint's last home league game they staged a remarkable comeback to beat Dungannon Swifts 4-3.

Town boss Stephen McDonnell has asked his team's small band of supporters to recreate the fantastic atmosphere at the ground that day.

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