Belfast Telegraph

Glenavon players must seize chance for a starting spot with lengthy injury list, says Hamilton

Gary Hamilton
Gary Hamilton

By Alex Mills

Glenavon boss Gary Hamilton is demanding another display of power, pace and passion when Cliftonville travel to Mourneview Park today.

Even though his team were vastly understrength in their previous Danske Bank Premiership game, Hamilton's braves were unfortunate to concede a last-gasp equaliser which spared the blushes of high-flying Crusaders.

With no fewer than NINE first-team regulars sitting in the stand, the Lurgan Blues out-muscled and out-thought the Belfast aristocrats - and Hamilton is hoping for more of the same.

"Cliftonville are a good side," he said. "Paddy McLaughlin has done a great job at Solitude, which I knew he would.

"I've always said it and I'll keep saying it, with the players they have at the top end of the pitch they are capable of beating any team in the league.

"We will need to be on our game and we'll need a performance similar to what we produced against Crusaders if we are to get anything."

Hamilton shrugs off the fact that his hands have been tied to a certain degree due to his chronic injury list.

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"I believe in the players, I'm talking about the entire squad, and I keep telling them that," he added. "When you take players of the calibre of Johnny Tuffey, Caolan Marron, Andrew Doyle, Seamus Sharkey, Eoin Wearen, Sammy Clingan, Robbie Norton, Andrew Mitchell and Josh Daniels, it's a big loss and most teams would feel the pinch.

"But the players that take to the pitch in any game, in my opinion, are good enough to compete with any team in the league if they are bang on it, which they were last weekend.

"We looked like a really confident team, not a team on a depressing run of results."

Striker Stephen Murray, the club's top scorer last season, broke his goal drought, which pleased Hamilton.

He added: "It was great for Stephen because he had been struggling in front of goal, every striker goes through that from time to time.

"I was delighted for him and I was thrilled with the overall performance of the team. It was a total contrast from our previous showing in the League Cup when we lost to Newry City.

"When players get chances (to get into the team) they have to take them. For me, there were too many that didn't take their chance. So, I tweaked things and I got the reaction I wanted."

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