It’s third versus fourth tomorrow as Glenavon travel down the M1 to take on Linfield at Windsor Park with Gary Hamilton’s team just three points ahead of the current champions. Unusually for this time in the season, this is only the second meeting between the two sides, the game in October having been postponed due to Linfield’s involvement in the Irn Bru Challenge Cup competition.
The last time the teams did meet, at Mourneview Park back in November, Linfield went home with all three points thanks to a 1-0 win, the only goal of the game scored by Cameron Stewart who this week went out on loan to Ards.
Andrew Doyle is suspended (5th caution) for the visit to Windsor tomorrow and Josh Daniels is still out with a hamstring injury.
Update: When we spoke to Gary Hamilton this evening we of course had to ask him about the situation linking Joel Cooper with a move to Linfield. “After training on Thursday night I got a phone call at 9:30pm from the Chairman to say that there was a story going to print in the Belfast Telegraph the next day stating that Joel Cooper had signed a pre-contract with Linfield. Straightway I phoned Joel and I asked him outright to be honest with me and tell me the truth ‘have you signed for Linfield’, because, if you have, no worries but I’d rather know the truth. Joel confirmed he had spoken with Linfield but at no point has he signed a contract.”
“I’ve taken Joel at his word, which I do with every player, and I expect him to be honest and I’ve given him the opportunity to say if he has signed. I put him over it again and said ‘I just want the truth, I don’t mind if you’ve signed for them but I would rather know going in to the match tomorrow and be honest with me’ and he’s given me a definite ‘haven’t signed’ and as far as I’m concerned I’ve nothing to question him about and nothing to disbelieve him about.
“All I can do after working with a player for two-and-a-half years is believe him over what a journalist, who I don’t know and don’t have a personal relationship with, has said. Unless I’m told otherwise by an official party, either the IFA or Linfield FC, or Joel, then I have to take Joel at his word as he’s my player and he’s somebody I have put faith in over the last 2 1/2 years.”
Stephen Murray looks likely to feature after impressing against Cliftonville last Saturday and setting up an Irish Cup goal for Andrew Mitchell on his debut against Carrick Rangers.
“From our viewpoint, we are delighted to get Stephen in as he offers something different in terms of some other forward options in terms of that physical presence, aside of course from Andrew Mitchell. So if Andrew is injured or needs a rest we now have Stephen as that physical option but I also feel both have the attributes to form a partnership and complement each other together,” Gary Hamilton told the Lurgan Mail after signing the Warrenpoint Town striker on a two-and-a-half year contract earlier this month.
Stephen Murray looks likely to feature after impressing against Cliftonville last Saturday. Photo by Alan Weir
Last Five League Results
Linfield: D W L L W
Glenavon: L W W L D
The last time the Lurgan Blue triumphed over Linfield was in the Irish Cup Final back in May 2016.
|Referee||Assistant 1||Assistant 2||4th Official|
|Tim Marshall||Mark O’Brien||Andrew Nethery||Raymond Hetherington|