Changes may be enforced for trip to Warrenpoint

Glenavon's Gareth McKeown suffered a broken nose last weekend.
Glenavon's Gareth McKeown suffered a broken nose last weekend.

Glenavon boss Gary Hamilton hasn’t ruled out changing a winning team.

The boss says he has altered his policy of keeping a victorious side unchanged for their next game with the club vying for a valuable top six place.

They’re currently five points behind Ballymena United in sixth but have two games in hand on the Braidmen.

On Friday they travel to Milltown to take on Warrenpoint (kick-off 7.45pm) and Hamilton says, if possible, his new rule change won’t come into force for this one.

“It would be very hard to change this team,” he said after the 2-1 win at Ballinamallard.

“It’s not as if we’re playing again midweek or anything. There’s a week before the next game so it would be very hard to change this team.

“For the first time since I came to the club I told the players sometimes a winning team will be changed over the next few weeks.”

However, the boss may be forced into alterations after Gareth McKeown had to be substituted with a broken nose at Ferney Park and Hamilton himself was sent from the dug-out by referee Hugh Carvill. However, he is as yet unsure of the ramifications of that dismissal.

He said: “We’re not 100% sure if I was sent off as a player or a manager yet. If it was as a player, then I’ll be suspended on Friday night but if it was as a manager, then I’ll be available to play. We still have to get confirmation on that.

“We’ll also have to see about Gareth McKeown and if he’ll be available. If we’re both available, it would be hard to change the team.”

Warrenpoint picked up three wins over the festive period but since then have been beaten by Linfield and Coleraine.

They did hold Crusaders to a 1-1 draw on Saturday and that after Darren King was sent off. However, Hamilton is hoping that if his side can perform to their best levels, three points will follow.

He said: “They’re going well and will be enthusiastic and enjoying their first season in the Premiership. It’ll be a tough game for us we know that but if we perform to the same level we have done against Ballinamallard, Cliftonville and Glentoran, it shouldn’t be a problem for us.

“We’ve set a standard and we have to play to that level in every game against every team.

“We have to beat the teams below us in the table now. We started that against Ballinamallard on Saturday so we have to keep it going.

“We have a lot of games coming up against teams around us, hopefully we can pick up three points and then move on to the next one.”