NEW signing Mark Farren is unlikely to start for Glenavon on Saturday.
The Blues host Crusaders in the Danske Bank Premiership with Farren eligible to play for the first time since joining the club from Derry City.
Farren’s arrival has been much anticipated among the Glenavon support but, having played little football in the past two months, City’s record goalscorer is likely to begin his first game for his new club from the bench.
“I don’t think Mark will start the game on Saturday, unless there is a major injury or suspension crisis,” said boss Gary Hamilton.
“At this minute in time he’ll be on the bench and will hopefully play some part in the game. It will all depend on who is fit and available for selection. Mark will be involved in the squad in some capacity though. He’ll get 90 minutes for the reserves this week and if all goes well, he’ll play some part on Saturday.
“If not, he’ll get another 90 minutes for the reserves next week and then we’ll see about the Irish Cup game.
“We’re just thankful that we can finally include him in the squad because he’s been itching to get at it. He’s worked very hard to keep his fitness levels up but unfortunately, due to the rules, we haven’t been able to get him many games.”
When match-fit, Farren’s presence will give Hamilton a selection headache. With the club’s other main forward, Guy Bates in good form, the boss knows that accommodating both of his top strikers will take some consideration. However, he says that, for now, changing the 4-5-1 formation is not the answer.
“At the minute, the system’s good and we have been getting results,” he said.
“Overall, the system’s been working and we can’t just change it straight away. Maybe players will have to play in different areas when Mark comes in.
“We’ve got two top strikers in Guy Bates and Mark Farren and it’s obvious that we want both of them on the pitch. We’ll have to try and find a way to do that. We have thought about that.”
Hamilton is still confident of getting a result and will be looking for a repeat of his side’s 1-0 victory over Crusaders earlier in the season, as opposed to the 5-1 defeat the last time the sides met.
He said: “Crusaders are getting good results and have a very good team. It’s a game we’re probably not expected to get anything out of but the last time we played them at Mourneview we gave one of our best performances and got the win.
“The capability is there to get another good result. Crusaders at Seaview are hard to play against and it’s a tough ask but at Mourneview there is a possibility we can beat them again.
“Too many players underperformed last weekend against Linfield and that happens sometimes, but we can’t afford to do that against the likes of Crusaders either.”