A CASE FOR THE DEFENCE

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GLENAVON’S defenders will have to be on top form on Saturday afternoon if they’re to hold out free scoring Cliftonville.

The Reds are sitting pretty atop the table, having netted 26 league goals so far this term.

Strike duo Liam Boyce and Joe Gormley have bagged 14 goals themselves and Glenavon boss Gary Hamilton knows that his centre-backs will have their work cut-out to stop those two finding the net at Mourneview Park.

“Liam and Joe are on fire at the minute,” he said.

“They’ll not be easy to play against and it’ll be the toughest game of the season for our centre-halves.

“Kris (Lindsay) will definitely start and hopefully his experience will help him through it. Whoever else starts alongside him, it’ll be a big test for them. If we’re going to win the game, we need to counteract their main threats, which are their front two and their midfield two.

“They’re strong all over but those are the main areas. We need a big performance from our midfielders and centre-halves but if we can get that, then anything’s possible.”

Hamilton will revert to a 4-4-2 formation this week having lined up in a more defensive 4-5-1 in the loss to Glentoran. The boss is hopeful that the change will help his team to get back to winning ways after having picked up just one point from their last five matches.

“We’ll get the boys back into a formation that they’re more adjusted to because we know that Tommy (Breslin) will play that way and hopefully that will help us,” he told the ‘MAIL.’

“There still hasn’t been any teams that have beaten us by more than one goal so there’s not a lot of difference between us and anyone else.

“We’ll give it our best shot. If, on the day, they’re better than us then that’s the way it is and we can’t do anything about it.

“They’re top of the league and we’re third bottom so that’s the difference but I know that on their day, my players can beat Cliftonville as well.

“We’re in a bit of a sticky situation at the minute and I know that the boys are hurting. It’s not easy when you’re conceding goals like we are and it’s degrading.

“Since the Linfield game, we’ve gone on a bad run. It’s hard to get the mental strength into players to get them through that but we gave Cliftonville a good run for their money down at Solitude so hopefully we can put in another good solid performance on Saturday.”