Back to basics

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GARY Hamilton wants his Glenavon side to continue their good run of form in order to make the league’s other teams sit up and take notice.

The Blues return to league action on Saturday after their disappointing 3-0 Irn-Bru League Cup semi-final defeat to Cliftonville on Tuesday night, taking on Ballymena United at Mourneview Park.

And Hamilton knows that if his side can put the midweek loss behind them and return to their solid league form, they can start to put themselves back on the Irish League map and make teams wonder “how they’re going to cope with us.”

Glenavon are now sitting just five points behind their opponents and so a win on Saturday would see the Blues close in on their opponents in eighth spot. Although the boss knows it won’t be an easy task, the three points are in his plans.

“Ballymena is another big game,” he said.

“Glenn Ferguson has done a good job since he came in and they’ve even won their first trophy in a long time. It’s going to be a difficult game for us but our confidence is up at the minute and if we keep performing the way we are, we’re capable of beating anybody at home, should it be Ballinamallard or Linfield.

“If we keep playing the way we’re playing other teams will be looking over their shoulder at us or wondering how they’re going to cope with us. I don’t mean any disrespect but whenever I was with Glentoran, when you came to Mourneview Park you were always confident of getting three points and you don’t want that.

“Now teams will maybe be taking a look at us. That’s a few good results in the last few matches. We want to go about our business quietly but we know we have the capability to punch higher than we are at the minute.”

Ballymena, of course, won the County Antrim Shield last month but have now been beaten in two successive league games. Hamilton, however, says their League Cup hangover won’t last long.

He said: “There’s not a good time to play anyone unless they’re getting hammered every week. They’re bound to be taking a lot of confidence from that win too. It was a big result for them, especially beating Linfield in the final. It was massive for them and they’ll come good again.

“Sometimes when teams win a trophy they go a couple of weeks and they’re dead but they’ll come back strong, I have no doubt about that because Spike wouldn’t have it any other way.”

Club captain Brendan Shannon is still struggling with injury and Hamilton confirmed that it is as yet unclear as to when the skipper will be fit to return to first team action.