Make no bones about it – Gary Hamilton is expecting a better performance in tonight’s game against Carrick Rangers than the one he got on Saturday.
The defeat to Dungannon Swifts meant that the gap between Glenavon and Ballymena United for that all-important seventh spot was cut after the Sky Blues beat Portadown in their fixture.
“The pressure is on the players now,” Gary told Glenavon Media after Saturday’s loss.
“We only have a one point gap now and we have to win all of our games. That’s it, simple as that. We can’t turn up and play the way we did in the first half on Saturday, that’s for sure.”
The Amber Army will provide a stern test for Hamilton’s side. They’ve won their last two games against Dungannon and Warrenpoint for starters.
That said, the Loughshore Leisure Arena is a place where Glenavon have faired fairly well at in recent years – in their last 13 trips to Taylor’s Avenue the Lurgan Blues have lost just once, although there have been six draws over that period.
However, to get over the line on this occasion Glenavon will need get it right from the off as Gary pointed out after Saturday’s loss.
“Any team can beat any other team in this league. I’ve said it before – if you’re not switched on and your head is not in the game then you are setting yourself up for a fall.
“I told the lads that before the game on Saturday. You need to start right. And yet within 30 seconds we are a goal behind.
“Ok, we showed character to get back into it but even if you look at Dungannon’s third goal, it’s a free kick. Their player gets in from a dead ball – we should be set up and organised because, if we are, he doesn’t get into that area.
“Before that we were switched off for a throw-in, their player gets in and has a shot and hits the crossbar.
“They’re schoolboy things. They come down to application, hunger and desire. It wasn’t good enough.”
In terms of team news the manager reports that there should be no changes to the squad available to him on Saturday, although Andrew Waterworth may be ready for selection after missing out recently due to a chest infection.
LAST TIME OUT: Second-half goals from top scorer Matthew Fitzpatrick and captain James Singleton saw Glenavon pick up a 2-0 win over Carrick Rangers at Mourneview Park on Saturday afternoon.
After a first half in which very little action of note happened, the home supporters finally had reason to cheer when Fitzpatrick converted at the back post following a Peter Campbell corner on 66 minutes.
Glenavon doubled their lead and effectively sealed the three points when Singleton scored with a well-placed low shot in the 79th minute.
REFEREE: Christopher Morrison
ASSISTANT REFEREES: Ken Ross, John Doherty
FOURTH OFFICIAL: Ben McMaster