Glenavon’s first game of the New Year is a trip to Warden Street to take on a Ballymena United side that lost 4-2 to Ards on Saturday after taking the lead twice at the Bangor Fuels Arena.

Guy Bates scored the opener against Cliftonville. Photo by Alan Weir

Gary Hamilton was pleased with the performance in his side’s 2-2 draw with Cliftonville on Friday night even though Cliftonville came back from 2-0 down. “It was great the other night. There was a good atmosphere in the changing room and I thought the spirit was there again. We played with a lot of determination, fight and energy and that’s what we ask for week in and week out. Some decisions didn’t go our way but the one thing that was there was the attitude, the desire and the hunger.

“That’s all I can ever ask of the players and if they give me that they usually do okay and they get the results. On another day we could have won it on the chances that we created and our domination in the second half but it wasn’t to be. As I always say to them if they give me the effort and the desire they gave me the other night, they’ll not hear any criticism from us and I think the supporters the other night appreciated it as well. All people ask for is hard work and effort and commitment.

“They’re all talented players and when you get the extra bit out of them in terms of their effort and desire then, with that ability, hopefully we can do the same tomorrow night. There’s no point playing well against Cliftonville and then turn up tomorrow night and not do the same again. It’s about consistency now, getting a wee run going and if they keep their performance levels up like that, there’s every chance they can do that.”

At the time of writing, Glenavon is still awaiting International clearance from the FA for new striker James Gray. Gary is hoping that Gray, Moorhouse, Bates and O’Brien can take up the mantle left by Eoin Bradley and start scoring regularly and help Glenavon move up the table again.