Glenavon will have to be at their best to topple league leaders Glentoran when the two sides meet at Mourneview Park this evening (7.45pm kick off).
The visitors are unbeaten, having only dropped two points all season in the league and conceding just twice in the current Danske Bank Premiership campaign.
Their ‘goals for’ tally of 27 has only been bettered by two sides – Crusaders and Glenavon.
That fact alone will give Gary Hamilton’s side hope, as well as the manner of their recent performances. The Lurgan Blues have won two of their last three games and fought back to earn a draw from 2-0 down against Cliftonville on Saturdya.
“We’ll need character on Tuesday night. We’re playing a team which is top of the league and flying and full of confidence. They’re not conceding goals, they’re scoring plenty of goals,” Gary told Glenavon Media after Saturday’s draw with Cliftonville.
“It’s gonna be a difficult game, there’s no two ways about that and every team that has played them has found that out.
“We’re going to be no different, but the boys have to take confidence and have to take belief and confidence from the comeback against Cliftonville and bring that into the game on Tuesday night.
“We can’t have any fear – they have to go out and play. If they get beaten by the better side, then you get beaten by the better side, but go out, don’t hold back and give it everything you’ve got.”
Matthew Fitzpatrick and Jack Malone will both miss out through injury while Mark Haughey continues his recovery.
“Fitzy has concussion. He is going to be out for ten days which is a blow and he’s going to miss some big games,” added Hamilton.
“But it is what it is and Josh Doyle came on and scored against Cliftonville, so Fitzy’s injury gives somebody else an opportunity.
“Because we’re playing Glentoran we might revert back to a 4-3-3. We’ll see.
“Jack Malone went off with a tight hamstring as well so, again, he’s a doubt for Tuesday. I think Tuesday will come too soon for him.
“Hopefully he’s caught it in time. I don’t think it’s torn, he felt a wee strain on it so hopefully it isn’t too bad. He’ll maybe miss this week and maybe be ok for next week. We’ll not know that until the physio assesses him on Tuesday.”
There is good news with the return of Danny Wallace, who will be eligible for selection after he served a one-game ban on Saturday.
Supporters are asked to note that a minute’s silence will be held before tonight’s game in memory of our former player, Sammy Wilson, and our former Chairman Sam Gardiner MBE JP.
LAST TIME OUT: Glentoran beat Glenavon 2-0 in the European play-off semi-finals in May with Conor McMenamin and Jay Donnelly on target for Mick McDermott’s side.
Referee: Evan Boyce
Assistant referees: Bogdan Sfirloaga, Brian Wilson
Fourth official: Barry Monaghan
Match Sponsor: Triangle GSC
Ball Sponsor: Jack Pringle
Man of the Match: Hubert Watson