Belfast Telegraph

Glenavon will graft to stay on top of the table, vows Tuffey

Glenavon 2 Dungannon Sw 1

Glenavon goalkeeper Johnny Tuffey
Glenavon goalkeeper Johnny Tuffey
Head for heights: Caolan Marron gets up above Dungannon pair Corey Mullan and Cormac Burke
Andrew Mitchell with Josh Daniels

By Billy Weir

Glenavon goalkeeper Johnny Tuffey is enjoying life at the top but has told his team-mates that the hard work starts now.

For the opening 45 minutes of Saturday's defeat of Dungannon Swifts he was a virtual spectator at Mourneview Park and like most onlookers must have wondered how the league leaders had just one goal to show for their troubles.

Chance after chance went by before Andy Hall applied the finishing flourish to a sweeping move six minutes before the break.

When Andrew Mitchell applied an equally adept finish to an even better move in the 62nd minute it looked like game up for the Swifts and their new boss, Kris Lindsay.

Lindsay, a former player and coach at Glenavon, took over the reins this week and with only one training session with his new charges meant it was a learning curve for him and his team.

But they showed plenty of spirit, halving the deficit with a quarter of an hour to go through Kris Lowe and piling on the pressure, something that Tuffey knows teams will do more and more the longer the Lurgan men are at the top.

"It was a very good first-half and a very professional second-half, and credit to Dungannon who have come and given it a right go and we've weathered the storm," he said.

Sign In

"They got a lift with the goal but we saw the game out and it's another three points on the board.

"The boys have been excellent and it has been the same for the last few weeks, they're a really hard working bunch, we've found a little bit of form and I'm there to do my job and hopefully I can when called upon.

"We're going in the right direction at the minute but we know that football can change very, very quickly. As much as we're enjoying it at the minute we know that the hard work has to continue and hopefully we can stay in there or around it.

"We'd rather be in and around the top than around the bottom but football can change so quickly, we've got to work even harder to try and stay up there."

Lindsay was given a warm welcome on his quick return to Mourneview, one that Tuffey says was richly deserved.

"Kris has written his name in the history books here for what he achieved as a player, it's phenomenal. He's held in the highest regard at this football club and always will be," he explained.

"It's an opportunity he couldn't pass up and he's taken it and everyone here wishes him well. He's a very good friend of mine and I'm sure he'll take Dungannon back to where they should be very soon."

As for Lindsay his side's display showed him plenty of signs that they should be able to climb away from the danger zone sooner rather than later.

"In the first-half we kept our shape reasonably well but at times we played ourselves into trouble and created our own problems," he said.

"I've only had one training session with the boys and it will take me a while to get my ideas and what I want over to them but we had a chat at half-time as to what I wanted and we could have done a little bit more, but I thought we played really well and the boys are coming in feeling they should have got something from the game.

"That shows you the attitude in the changing room and for the last 15-20 minutes Glenavon were sitting in and that's testament to my boys who came out and gave it a real rattle.

"I know there is a good squad of players and that second-half performance proves it, it's up to us now to take that into the game at Warrenpoint next week and do it for 90 minutes and pick up three points.

"It has been a pretty manic last few days when I was dealing with lots of other stuff, but it's nice to get back to the football and try and make things ­happen."

GLENAVON: Tuffey, Marshall, Singleton, Marron, King, Doherty, Daniels, Sykes, Mitchell, Murray, Hall (McCloskey, 68 mins). Unused subs: Doyle, Grace, Muir, Donnelly, Jenkins, Clingan.

DUNGANNON: Moore, Lowe, O'Rourke, Armstrong, Hegarty, Hutchinson (Wilson, 31 mins), Burke 6 (Campbell, 64 mins), McMullan, Hughes, Harpur (Lafferty, 72 mins), Teggart. Unused subs: Addis, Dykes, Patton, Soares.

Referee: Ian McNabb (Glengormley)

Man of the match: Andrew Mitchell

Match rating: 7/10

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph