GLENAVON boss Gary Hamilton wants his side to take advantage of Glentoran’s poor run of form when the sides meet at the Oval this Saturday (kick-off 3pm).
The Glens had been unbeaten in their first 10 games of the season until rivals Linfield dumped them out of the County Antrim Shield with an injury-time winner.
Since then, Eddie Patterson’s men have surrendered their unbeaten start to the league, losing out to both Crusaders and Portadown while only overcoming Championship One side Institute by the narrowest of margins in the Irn-Bru League Cup.
“They’ve been beaten in three of their last four games now and they were brought to penalty kicks by Institute so it proves that they are beatable,” said Hamilton.
“Teams had been struggling to get the better of them at the start of the season and nobody had done it until Linfield beat them in the Cup.
“But they’ve been beaten now so it’s a game that we’re well capable of getting something from if we play to our capabilities.
“We have to defend better than we did last weekend though. We can’t concede two goals at the Oval and expect to get something out of the game. When you do that away from home, it’s difficult so we have to try and shut them out.”
However, Hamilton will be without striker Guy Bates, who is abroad for his brother’s wedding and will miss both this game and the match against Cliftonville at Mourneview Park a week later.
“They’ve had it all booked to go for over a year now so that was already agreed when Guy joined us,” said Hamilton.
“He’ll be missed but there’s nothing we can do about it. It will give somebody else their chance in the team, whether it’s Andy Mitchell or Matty Burrows again. If one of those guys impresses in the shirt then they’ll keep it. It’s their opportunity to make a positive impression and keep their place.
Hamilton is also predicting further changes to his starting line-up. One of those changes could be the return of long-term absentee Kris Lindsay, who could again be available for selection for the first time this season.
“Kris played another 45 minutes for the reserves last weekend and we’re hoping that he’ll get 90 minutes on Wednesday night. If he comes through that ok then we might even look at that option for Saturday, you never know,” said the boss.