Ben Doherty’s late equaliser for Coleraine in last Saturday’s Danske Bank Premiership game denied Glenavon the chance to move up to third place and close the gap to second-placed Ballymena United to just three points. As a result, the Lurgan Blues can’t really afford to drop points against the newly-crowned Champions at Windsor Park tomorrow if they are to stand a chance of overhauling the Sky Blues who they face on Easter Tuesday.
“We have to go to Windsor tomorrow and give it everything we’ve got because, while there’s still a chance mathematically of maybe getting third or second, we have to try and get there,” Gary Hamilton told us. “We know tomorrow against Linfield it’s going to be a difficult game, especially given it’s the day they’re being presented with the trophy, we have to go and try and spoil the party for a bit and get a result. We do know it’s not going to be easy – there hasn’t been too many teams go there and do it this year – but I have faith in the team and the squad and if we can get everybody performing then, as I’ve said before, we’re capable of beating any team in this league. On the flip side of that, if we don’t go and perform then Linfield will certainly beat us.
“They’re league champions for a reason and thoroughly deserved. My congratulations go to David Healy and his backroom staff and the players but tomorrow we have to think of ourselves. We’ll obviously respect them and give them the guard of honour onto the pitch but we have to try and spoil the party a bit and get a result because we have to look after our own house. We need a result tomorrow to stand any chance of catching Crusaders and Ballymena. It’s a massive game for us and we’ll go there tomorrow and hope that we can cause an upset and a shock.”
Sammy Clingan will unfortunately miss the game against the Champions after picking up a foot injury last Saturday. “Sammy got a whack on the foot in the first half last week. To be fair to him he carried on for the 90 minutes but he went for an X-ray on Monday night because his foot was still sore and we’re waiting for the results. He’ll be a massive miss for us because he’s been very good in the last few games he’s played. He’s a big player and an experienced one that we need at this stage of the season.”
“I said to the players, with three games to go, if they get two wins, they’ll have the highest points tally in Glenavon’s history. That would be an unbelievable achievement considering the changes there’s been from last year with player’s coming and going, players injured, staff going, for a team to achieve it would be amazing even though, at the end of it, we might not even get European football off the back of it which is quite frightening.”
Glenavon supporters who have not yet obtained a ticket for tomorrow’s game are advised that tickets will be available from a kiosk outside the turnstiles at the Boucher Road end of the ground.
Last five league games
Linfield: L W W W D
Glenavon: W W W W D
Head to Head
Last ten games in all competitions
Glenavon: W3 D2 L5 F12 A14, Average goals per game: 2.6
Referee: Jamie Robinson, Assistants: Stephen Bell and Andrew Nethery, 4th Official: Evan Boyce