Belfast Telegraph

Old pal Lindsay will know we are a tough nut to crack: Gary Hamilton

Glenavon’s Gary Hamilton
Glenavon’s Gary Hamilton

By Alex Mills

Manager Gary Hamilton admits sentiment will be in short supply when Glenavon travel to Stangmore Park to face Dungannon Swifts today.

Although he'll offer a hand of friendship and go through the procedure of a welcoming hug, Hamilton will be determined to get one over his former coach, Kris Lindsay, who is now the driving force behind the County Tyrone club's Danske Bank Premiership survival battle.

Lindsay will certainly have an inside track, not only on the Glenavon players but also on their tactical and technical ability.

Both teams need the points for contrasting reasons. Even though the Lurgan Blues turned in an excellent performance against Linfield at Windsor Park on Saturday, they left the international venue with only one point.

The result left them five points adrift of David Jeffrey's impressive Ballymena United, who sit proudly at the top of the table.

Dungannon's worries focus at the other end of the table.

They have picked up only one point from a possible nine from their last three games, leaving them hovering in 10th place, just one point above Newry City.

"It will be great to see Kris again," said Hamilton.

"I know he knows better than most what we do as a team, but he'll also know when we do it well, we are so hard to stop.

"Kris might have an advantage knowing us, but he will also know it is difficult to stop if we all click."

Hamilton was thrilled with his team's performance at Windsor Park at the weekend and believes they were denied a late winner when a header from defender Caolan Marron appeared to have crept over the line before it was cleared by Stephen Fallon.

"You know it's going to be difficult going to a place like Windsor," he added. "You aren't going to dominate them and score three or four goals. You have to defend, be brave and strong, which I feel we were.

"Our two centre-backs were excellent, and the full-backs were unbelievable.

"I thought we defended as well as we are ever going to defend against Linfield; we got bodies in and around them.

"The frustrating thing is you need brave officials in games like that, but I've always said you're never going to get massive decisions going your way.

"If there's any slight doubt, they'll always sway against you. It's difficult for clubs like ourselves when you play so well and score what we believe was a good goal, but you go back down the road with one point instead of three."

Hamilton insists he will be demanding three points at Stangmore Park to keep his team's title aspirations on track.

"I don't believe in playing any other way than trying to win games," he added.

"Some managers like to see games out and settle for a point but that's not for me; I want to win games no matter who we play.

"Even when we were an average side, we still tried to win games. I'm not saying we always did it or we always will now, but we will always try.

"On Saturday, towards the end, I threw on Jordan Jenkins in the hope we'd get one more sniff of goal and it falls to him. He's got a few goals for us coming off the bench this season, but it just didn't happen this time."

Dungannon Sw v Glenavon

Danske Bank Premiership

Stangmore Park, Today, 3.00pm

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