Glenavon heads to the Brandywell for tomorrow’s Danske Bank Premiership match with Institute at the end of a week of mixed emotions with the news of the sudden passing of Carrick Rangers player Jerry Thompson being received after Glenavon had edged Tuesday night’s game with the Gers.
Gary Hamilton is aiming to make it a second successive league win for only the second time this season. On the last occasion at the end of November, with wins against Linfield and tomorrow’s opponents Institute, the Glenavon fans had hoped that this would mark a turning point in a disappointing season so far. Unfortunately the Lurgan Blues then suffered a 6-2 thumping by Carrick at the Loughshore Hotel Arena and a 3-1 home defeat by Larne. They avoided a third successive defeat with that 1-0 midweek win against Carrick but it was a nervy performance and Gary readily admitted that Niall Currie’s side deserved something from the game. “We know it’s a results business but obviously we want performances as well and the other night, as much as we got a result, we didn’t feel our performance was as good. The flip side of that is we’ve had a couple of really good performances and got nothing from them so maybe that (Tuesday night) was our wee bit of the rub of the green.
“Defensively we weren’t good enough the other night, we conceded too many chances and it was the same down at Carrick as well. It’s something we can’t afford to do because on another day the team takes the chances and it’s a different game.
“On the other hand we have to take our chances when they come along – we need to improve in both areas tomorrow. It’s a tough place to go, they beat Coleraine no long ago. They’ll be a difficult team to go and get a result against and, as I said, we need to improve at both ends of the pitch in terms of defending and being more clinical in front of goal. That was the one thing we did do against Institute in the last game – we were quite clinical in front of goal and defensively we were quite sound.”
“We’ve been very open at the back in the two Carrick games and conceded chances but it is a young back four that played the other night and sometimes that happens but hopefully we can put it right defensively tomorrow and give us something to build on and go on and try and win the game.”
Andrew Mitchell misses out again with a back problem but Gary is hopeful that Andy Doyle will make the squad tomorrow. Robbie Garrett was rested on Tuesday having played a lot of games but he returns to the squad as Sammy Clingan, who played the full 90 minutes against Carrick, will not be risked on the synthetic surface at the Brandywell as he is only back from a long-term Achilles injury.
Reminder: if you are unable to make the trip tomorrow, our Reserves are at home to Institute in a Premiership Development League game, kick-off 2pm, admission free.
Last five league games
Institute: L D L W L
Glenavon: W W L L W
Referee: Jamie Robinson, Assistants: Gareth Eakin, Ken Ross, 4th Official: Ben McMaster