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Glenavon’s tie against Larne is ‘not even a 50-50 game’, says Gary Hamilton


Gary Hamilton

Gary Hamilton

©INPHO/Presseye/Jonathan Porter

Gary Hamilton

Gary Hamilton insists the odds are stacked against Glenavon as they aim to move a step closer to European football at Larne tonight.

The Lurgan club squeezed into the play-offs after a draw against Dungannon Swifts on Saturday secured seventh spot.

Now they head to Inver Park, aiming to book a place in this weekend’s final.

Hamilton, however, believes they are big underdogs.

“We are not expected to win we all know that,” he said.

“They are the favourites — they will have rested up Sunday, are not working Monday, not working Tuesday, going in and getting their proper recovery.

“Our boys are going to be working Monday and Tuesday and then back in, playing a big game on Tuesday night.

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"But it is what it is — we just get on with it, we just accept what it is.

“One thing I will not get from the boys is a lack of effort and a lack of determination and a lack of will to win the game.”

The winner of tonight’s tie will go into Saturday’s final for a place in the Europa Conference League.

Glenavon failed to beat Larne in their three league meetings this season — drawing one and losing the other two and Hamilton admits they have it all to do tonight.

“We have given ourselves an opportunity, but it is only that,” he added.

“I’m not saying we are confident, I am not saying we are going to beat them because, at the end of the day, it’s not even a 50-50 game.

“It is probably a 60-40, maybe a 70-30 game in their favour.

“But at the end of the day, we know that on our day, if we perform and we turn up, we will give any team a game.”

Hamilton feels the gap between the top clubs and the rest is widening and the finances from European qualification are not enough.

“Even Europe is not going to close the gap — it is that massive,” he added.

“Yes, Europe is going to help you in terms of sustainability for the next couple of years, but it is not going to close any gaps.”

Hamilton feels his side deserve credit for their achievements this season.

He added: “There hasn’t been any other club in the league who have had the injuries we have had since January.

“Thankfully the boys got what they deserved and got that European shot.”

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