Belfast Telegraph

Josh Daniels is hoping to conjure up his magic and deny Crues once again

Central role: Josh Daniels has been in red hot form for Glenavon
Central role: Josh Daniels has been in red hot form for Glenavon

By Alex Mills

Crafty midfielder Josh Daniels admits he just loves playing against Crusaders.

The 23-year-old Glenavon ace is hoping lightning strikes again at Mourneview Park today - on his previous two appearances against Stephen Baxter's boys, he has produced goal of the season contenders.

Londonderry-born Daniels hit a sensational winner in the Lurgan Blues' dramatic 3-2 win back in September before ramming home a belter in February's 1-1 draw at Seaview.

With Gary Hamilton's team hot on the heels of the third-placed Crues - they are only four points adrift - Daniels believes Glenavon can benefit from their vastly improved home form, following on from wins over Linfield and Dungannon Swifts.

"A lot of critics were eager to highlight our form at Mourneview, but I think we've turned the corner on those with excellent performances against the Blues and Dungannon," said Daniels. "We've had a lot of drawn games this season, which hindered our progress.

"We lost games against teams in the bottom half of the league which didn't help either. However, we seem to reserve our best form for the teams in the top half, so hopefully that continues over the last five games - three of those will be at home.

"I suppose our stats would suggest we are a better side away from home. We certainly lost a bit of momentum after Christmas and struggled in front of our home fans.

"Gary (Hamilton) asked a few questions of the players, was it a mentality thing? But I think we've answered his questions."

Following the departure of Paul Millar to Glentoran, the Lurgan Blues have brought in Under-20s manager Andy Mathieson and former player Kyle Neill to their first-team coaching staff.

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