Glenavon travels to Windsor Park tomorrow (Tuesday) night for a re-arranged Danske Bank Premiership fixture. With both sides winning on Saturday the gap between third-placed Glenavon and Linfield in fourth remained at three points though the Lurgan Blues have a game in hand.
Joel Cooper, who is set to join Linfield in the Summer, is banned after he was controversially sent off against Carrick Rangers on Saturday and Mark Sykes is also suspended as he completes his three-game suspension. Sammy Clingan, who has been a key player in Glenavon’s midfield this season, is back after serving a ban on Saturday and Simon Kelly will return to the squad after completing 45 minutes with the Reserves on Saturday as he makes a come back from injury.
James Singleton should also make his return tomorrow night after recovering from the ankle injury he sustained against Coleraine a couple of weeks ago.
“I was really disappointed (that Joel got sent off) and I went in and had a quick word with Keith (Kennedy, Saturday’s referee) after the game and I just said ‘Can you have a look at it and if you think it’s not a booking will you rescind it and allow Joel to play’. Everybody makes mistakes, that’s fair enough but I think if we see it and they come out and admit that it wasn’t a yellow but unfortunately the rules don’t permit that, I’m led to believe in terms of rescinding a yellow card. It’s unbelievable because they can rescind a red card but not a yellow even though it has the same impact because he gets a red anyway! In that situation you can’t blame the referee in terms of rescinding it because he hasn’t the option to do so,” Gary Hamilton explained as he reviewed Saturday’s hard-fought win against Carrick Rangers.
“We go into every game looking to win and it’ll be no different tomorrow night, the same as it’ll be for Linfield, they’ll want to beat us. The boys have to take confidence from their performances recently and even on Saturday when we probably weren’t at our best. We went down to ten men and grafted and ground out a result at a very difficult place to go to. It’s a poor surface; the first half was a non-event but the second half we came out, went behind to a sloppy goal but we ground ourselves back into the game. Probably going down to ten men the boys played the best they did in the whole game but saying that it wasn’t as if Carrick were better than us because they didn’t really have many chances or shots on goal.
“The boys dug in and showed their character and togetherness. When you’re playing in any league in the world you can’t play at your best every week, that’s for sure, but the teams that are up near the top, Crusaders, Coleraine and the teams that do well when they’re not at their best and manage to grind out wins and we managed to do that on Saturday. Those are the results that you need to earn and whatever happens in your games against the Linfields, Crusaders and Coleraines are bonus points. They can go down tomorrow night now, give it their all and see where it takes them. I’ve no doubt that if they perform tomorrow night they have an opportunity to get a result as well but as I always say if you go to Windsor Park and you don’t perform there’s certainly no way you’re going to come away with anything from the game so they have to perform tomorrow night.
“Hopefully we can put in a good solid performance, show the togetherness they showed the last time they went down there and put in a similar sort of performance and if they do so then who knows what happens. It’s a big game for both sides so hopefully we’ll not let ourselves down.”
Last Five Head to Head
Glenavon won the previous game at Windsor Park 3-2 with Linfield taking the honours at Mourneview earlier in the season with a 1-0 victory.
Glenavon: W1 D1 L3
Form Guide (League)
Linfield: D W D W W
Glenavon: D D D W W