Belfast Telegraph

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Glenavon won't get swept up in talk of title joy: Singleton


By Graham Luney

James Singleton insists there will be no title talk at Mourneview Park even if Glenavon inflict a first Danske Bank Premiership defeat on Coleraine this weekend.

If Gary Hamilton's men can conquer the Bannsiders in Lurgan tomorrow, they will edge five points behind the runaway leaders.

Coleraine, who boast the best defensive record in the league after conceding only eight goals in 13 games, have started the season in blistering fashion and they know a victory this weekend would catapult them a massive 11 points clear at the summit.

Glenavon ace Singleton says the Mourneview men have a burning desire to return to the European stage and they are on course to achieve that goal but their natural objective is to win every battle they go into as well.

"European football will remain our aim and we will stay grounded and realistic," said the 21-year-old. "You can't afford to get carried away in this game.

"We have qualified for Europe for a few seasons and after just missing out this year it's our No.1 goal to get back there. Hopefully this season we can put that right.

"Since that Coleraine game which we lost we have been playing good football. The boys are confident, we are scoring and keeping clean sheets.

"We are solid at the back and have enjoyed back-to-back clean sheets in the league. We did concede two at Crusaders but still won the game and they will create a lot of chances.

"Coleraine are on a great run but I don't think any side could go unbeaten in this league for the whole season. At some stage they will drop points and then it will be a test for them to see how they react."

Sides like Coleraine and Glenavon weren't predicted to put in a title challenge this season but they are playing with much more confidence and belief than champions Linfield at the moment.

Singleton accepts the teams with a greater strength in depth like Linfield and Crusaders may have more staying power in title races but he is confident Glenavon can stay on the right track.

"I think Linfield and Crusaders are probably still slight favourites to fight it out for the league title but Coleraine are still up there after 13 matches, it's not like they have played five games and been a little fortunate," added Singleton. "They are putting down a marker to the rest of the league and everyone will give them the respect they deserve.

"We have a number of boys who could play across the water from Mark Sykes to Josh Daniels and Bobby Burns. Bobby has gone from left-back to midfield then striker and his versatility has been a real asset to the team.

"Andy Mitchell has been scoring goals for us but the other boys have been pitching in as well and it's important to have that threat from all over the pitch."

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