BLUES WANT LAST LAUGH

GARY Hamilton wants his Glenavon side to get their own back on Crusaders on Saturday after the Seaview side chuckled their way to a 4-0 win at Mourneview Park last weekend.

The boss says that his side made it so easy for Crusaders that the Belfast side could afford to “laugh” after they bagged their fourth goal in the demolition.

Now Hamilton wants his players to remember that feeling and turn it on its head on Saturday afternoon, as they travel to Seaview to again go head to head with Stephen Baxter’s men (kick-off 3pm).

“I understand completely because it was so easy for them that they could laugh,” he said.

“I’m not criticising anyone from Crusaders for doing that because I’ve been in games myself where’s it’s three, four or five nil and you have those wee laughs to yourself. You earn the right to do that and I’ve no problems with Crusaders players doing that.

“It’s embarrassing when you’re looking onto the pitch and players in the other team are laughing. As a professional player you don’t want to be laughed at and hopefully we can go out and turn it around next week.

“I’d like to think my players will remember it next Saturday and not let them be in the position that they can do that again. Hopefully the shoe can be on the other foot for a change.”

However, Hamilton knows that for that to be the case, his side must up their work-rate and repeat the kind of performance that saw them beat the Crues two months ago.

He said: “There are a lot of lessons to be learned from last Saturday. You can’t stand off good players. You have to close them down and work harder than them to have any chance of beating them. The boys should know after Saturday what they have to do to get a result.

“We can only say the same things again. We have to match them for work-rate and then hope that three or four of their players don’t perform because we aren’t giving them the chance to perform and do things.

“We beat Crusaders in December through everything we didn’t do last Saturday. We played it down the channels and we turned their back four. Their defence is brilliant at winning balls in the air but in the last game we said that if you get them turned, they’re not as comfortable.”

The Crusaders team will be more at home on their artificial surface at Seaview but Hamilton says that his side can still turn them over on their own pitch:

“It’s an advantage to them because they’re used to playing on it and we’re not. I don’t believe football should be played on those surfaces but those are the cards we’re dealt with and we have to deal with the situation.

“We’ll not be making any excuses. The advantage is with them as they play on it more often that us but it’s still a football match and the team that wants it more will win the game.”