Glenavon will be without four key players for tomorrow’s game against Crusaders.
Colin Coates and Calum Birney will both miss out through injury, as will Conor McCloskey. Matthew Snoddy is also unavailable as he is on loan from the Crues.
“Conor pulled up in training last night with a bit of a tight hamstring. Coatesy is the same and Calum has a bit of a groin strain,” explained Gary Hamilton.
“Conor had been playing well, he’s performed well in every game he’s started. It’s unfortunate but it is what it is, we just have to get on with it. Hopefully it’s nothing too serious and missing one game will do it. We thought the same with Coatesy but unfortunately it’s taking a wee bit longer.
“That’s the unfortunate thing with these injuries, you never really know how long they are going to take to heal but thankfully neither of them have torn them.”
However, Glenavon will be boosted by the return of Peter Campbell, which is “a big plus” according to Hamilton. He will be expected to take McCloskey’s place on the left hand side of midfield.
The manager has called on his team to repeat the high tempo performances that they had put in in recent weeks against Coleraine, Ballymena and Linfield.
“If we perform like we have done in recent games there’s no reason why we can’t get a result,” he said.
“We’ve competed in most games bar the Portadown one – against Dungannon if we score the penalty maybe we would have won the game; if we get the penalty against Coleraine then maybe we win that; against Linfield if the correct decision is made and the player is sent off then who knows what we could have got out of that.
“It terms of performances I can’t criticise them the players too much but we need that sort of performance tomorrow. If we get a ‘Portadown’ performance again Crusaders they’ll beat us.
“We’ve competed against Glentoran and Coleraine and for 70 minutes against Linfield, where an incident happened and knocked the smoke out of us, we were well in the game.
“We know it’s going to be tough but if we play to our capabilities we can match any team in this league. We have to give maximum commitment and desire. If we don’t then teams like Crusaders will beat us, but if we do then with the ability we have in our squad then we have the capability of beating them.”
Don’t forget that Saturday’s game is being played behind closed doors due to the restrictions put in place by the NI Executive. Supporters will not be permitted to enter the stadium. Season ticket holders are entitled to free access to Glenavon Media’s live stream of the game – those who have not already done so are asked to register at 247.tv/niprem and email [email protected] before 11am on Saturday morning to free access to the stream.
Non-season ticket holders can also access the stream for just £5 via 247.tv/niprem.
LAST TIME OUT: Glenavon 2-1 Crusaders, February 8, 2020: Substitute Conor McCloskey scored the winning goal four minutes from time as Glenavon ended a run of three straight defeats with a 2-1 victory over title-chasing Crusaders at Mourneview Park on Saturday.
Paul Heatley gave the Crues the lead three minutes before the break when he tapped Declan Caddell’s knock-down over the line.
Josh Daniels drew Glenavon level on 67 minutes when he got on the end of a long ball forward from goalkeeper Jonny Tuffey and turned it past Gerard Doherty in the Crusaders goal.
Referee: Ian McNabb
Assistant Referees: Gareth Eakin, Gavin Hegarty
Fourth Official: Barry Monaghan
MATCH SPONSORS – Noel Cunningham
BALL SPONSOR – Environmental Packaging
MAN OF THE MATCH SPONSOR – The Sinnamon Family