Gary Hamilton has called on his players to show the same character that they did during Saturday’s win over Carrick Rangers.

Glenavon travel to Dungannon Swifts tonight (kick-off 7.45pm, live on for £7) having put seven points on the board out of the last nine available.

“We’ve had a decent return, especially given that we have played Carrick in two out of our last three games,” Gary told the club website.

“The boys have to keep getting points on the board and trying to get up the table a bit. They’ve got the ability and we have a good enough squad to do it, but it’s up to them when they cross the white line. We can pick the team and give them information but once they cross the white line they’re the ones who have to put the points on the board.

“This season especially – we’ve had a lot of really poor refereeing decisions which have cost us between six and 10 points easily and then there have been games where we haven’t finished teams off and probably cost ourselves another six to 10 points. Between them both we’re probably sitting in a false position.

“We can’t always be a hard luck story – we have to learn to turn games into wins and not into defeats or draws after playing so well.”

The Glenavon manager is fully expecting a difficult game down at Stangmore Park based on past experience.

And the fact that this is former Glenavon assistant manager Dixie Robinson’s first game in temporary charge of the Swifts makes things slightly trickier, in Gary’s opinion.

“Right through the years that I’ve been here, right from when I was on loan as a player into my management it has been one of those games where we go there and we get it tough. We’re expecting no different tonight.

“It’s going to be especially difficult with a new manager coming in. We’ve seen down the years that players always raise their game whenever a new manager comes in so we’ve got that to deal with as well.

“But we have to go with the same attitude that we did on Saturday. We need to get that winning mentality and not make excuses about wind or pitches or whatever – we just get on with it. That’s what the boys did on Saturday, to be fair to them. They showed great character to come back from 2-2 to win the game and from going down to 10 men and seeing the game out. It was pleasing for us as coaching staff.

“We’ll need a lot of character tonight to get a result tonight.”

Aside from long-term absentee Calum Birney, Lee McNulty misses out following his sending off against Carrick for two bookable offences.

“It was never a sending off in a million years but unfortunately he misses the game over the head of that,” Gary added. “There’s nothing we can do about it.

“It’s poor in this day and age, when everybody has video footage of the games, that yellow cards can’t be rescinded. When it’s so obvious I don’t think it’s fair that players have to miss games, and then somebody else comes in and takes their place and maybe keeps them out of the team through no fault of their own.

“He’s out but Sean Ward will come back into the squad following his suspension.”


REFEREE: Evan Boyce

ASSISTANT REFEREE: Adam Jeffrey, Stephen Bell

FOURTH OFFICIAL: Louise Thompson

LAST TIME OUT: Conor McCloskey missed a first-half penalty as Glenavon and Dungannon Swifts played out a 0-0 draw at Mourneview Park. The spot-kick was awarded on 20 minutes when Swifts goalkeeper Sam Johnston upended Glenavon striker Danny Purkis, but McCloskey sent his penalty over the bar. In a game that was played in very blustery conditions, chances were few and far between.