Glenavon will be looking to bounce back from last Saturday’s heavy defeat by Linfield as they travel to Inver Park for the first time in almost exactly 12 years. The last time the sides met there was in October 2007.
In some ways the game is exactly what Glenavon manager Gary Hamilton would have wanted as it gives his players an immediate chance to put right everything that went wrong at the National Stadium at the weekend against Larne, a side that he recently described as “one of the top teams in the league.”
Speaking ahead of the game, Gary Hamilton said “Obviously we’ve looked at the goals and five of them came from crossed balls into the box and, in not one of them, were we picking up and yet we had a least the same number of players in the box as them. The one thing I’ve always said since I’ve come into management, when the ball’s in wide areas you have to mark the man in the box. Too many defenders now mark space but, normally, we are quite good at it (marking the man) but on Saturday, for whatever reason, we just went completely against what we coach. Listen, Linfield were better than us, there’s no two ways about it, but defensively we were poor.
“It’s easier to knock the ball about when you’re winning and you’ll take more risks and be confident to do it. We definitely gave them at least six of their goals – anybody who watches the highlights and pauses when the guy is about to cross, they’ll see that we aren’t marking in the box. We’ve had a chat about that on Monday night and told the boys that, when the ball is in wide areas, we have to pick up men in the box. Your number one thought should be ‘where’s the nearest man, can I get him marked’ and that will give you a better chance of stopping goals going in against you. As a defender, that should be your bread and butter: defending crosses. Hopefully it’s something that’s not hard to rectify if the boys concentrate when balls go wide and pick up the nearest man in the box.”
Seamus Sharkey remains out with a head injury, Robbie Norton has begun a recovery program working in the gym as he builds up the strength in his knee following his cruciate operation. Sammy Clingan is not risked on the 4G pitch at Larne. By the way, congratulations to Sammy and his wife on the birth of their baby boy last weekend 🙂
Reminder: Supporters should either obtain a ticket online ahead of the game or at the kiosk outside Inver Park on Friday night – click here for details and a link to the ticketing website.
Last five league games
Larne: D L W D D
Glenavon: L L L W L
Referee: TBC, Assistants: TBC, , TBC, 4th Official: TBC