Belfast Telegraph

Millar rages at Glenavon's complacency

Glenavon 1-1 Warrenpoint

By Ian Callender

The Glenavon fans turned up for a pre-Christmas party at Mourneview Park, expecting to see their team win a seventh successive game at home against opponents who had lost their last 13 matches.

However, the players had the same attitude and, 90 minutes later, they were hanging on just trying to preserve the point won by Andrew Hall's free kick, with assistant boss Paul Millar acknowledging that complacency was the reason for the display.

"If you beat Crusaders, Linfield or Warrenpoint you only get three points. So there's no sense in us winning at Coleraine last week, beating Linfield and then come here and think all you have to do is turn up to get another three points," he fumed.

"In the end, we are lucky to get a point. Jonny Tuffey was unbelievable, one save in the second half was one of the best I've ever seen. If he was playing in England or Scotland he would be in the Northern Ireland squad."

A rare mistake from Kris Lindsay had let in Stephen Murray for the quickest score of the season - after just 21 seconds - but the draw still kept Warrenpoint in a perilous state at the bottom of the Premiership table because Carrick Rangers, the team immediately above them and who visit Milltown on Boxing Day, won their third match of the season to move nine points clear.

Manager Barry Gray knows it is a must-win game next up but at least he can now approach it with confidence.

"I'm frustrated not to win, but delighted with a point," he said. "Coming here is always difficult, but we had two great opportunities to win it. Maybe it's the threat of January that's spurring a few of them on but there was a big improvement in performance."

One player definitely leaving in January is Cliftonville signing Daniel Hughes but Gray admitted it was the right time for his star striker to move on.

"We are happy with the business we have done and while people say it will be a big miss for us, he hasn't worked for us and we haven't worked for him, for whatever reason. He's scored four goals from 22 games, two from open play as the main striker. And we are bottom of the table so that's why we agreed the move. We can't hold him back," added Gray.

Glenavon: Tuffey, Marshall, Kelly, Lindsay (McGrory, 71 mins), Neill (O'Brien, 77 mins), Hall, Dillon, Sykes, Cooper, Kearns (Patton, 88 mins), Bradley.

Warrenpoint: Parr, Dane, Boyle, McVeigh, M Hughes, Donnelly, Smith (McGuigan, 76 mins), Moan, McDonald, Murray, D Hughes.

Man of the match: Jonny Tuffey

Match rating: 6/10

Referee: Keith Kennedy (Lisburn)

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