GLENAVON coach Nigel Law hopes it’s going to be a case of slow and steady wins the race for his side.
Player/manager Gary Hamilton and his staff aren’t expecting any huge strides up the league table this season and Law says they’re just hoping to creep their way toward the top over the next few years.
The Blues finished in ninth spot last season but Law says his side won’t be targeting any particular league position this coming term.
“It’s the same as we said last season - we want progress,” he told the ‘MAIL.’
“We targetted 40 points last season and got 42. We’ve another target this year that we’ll keep to ourselves. It’s all about gradual and sustainable growth. We’re putting in the strong foundations and we’re much further down the line than we were last season.
“Statistically, we improved on almost every area in terms of home and away wins, goals scored, goals conceded etc. We want to get better in each of those areas again. If we do all of those things, the league position will look after itself.”
After a summer which saw the Blues sign no less than seven new players, many are tipping Glenavon to be the league’s surprise package of the season. However, Law says springing into the top six in the table hasn’t crossed his mind in the build-up to the new season.
“It’s not something we’ve thought about,” he said.
“We have to be realistic. There are teams there such as Portadown and Ballymena who are further down the line in terms of their growth as a club. Ballymena have been talking about the top six for years but for us it’s been about staying away from the other end of the table.
“The only goals we’re focusing on now are our short-term aims. If we meet those objectives we’ll be in a good position. If we’re growing as a club, winning games and becomg more consistent we’ll be doing well.”
Despite his conservative aims for the new season, Law is delighted with the squad’s new recruits with experienced trio Winkie Murphy, David Rainey and Gareth McKeown adding some trophy winning know-how.
He said: “We’re really happy with the squad we’ve got on what everybody knows is a significantly reduced budget. Gary (Hamilton) and Paul (Millar), who do the majority of the dealings, have worked smartly and brought a lot of experience to what was a young squad.
“We’ve also brought in a winning mentality. The guys we’ve brought in have won everything in the local game and they’re also strong characters.
“They’ve blended into the squad off the pitch really well and hopefully within one, two or three competitive games we’ll nail getting them integrated into our style of play. That would be earlier than last year and would be great.”
The Blues, of course, reached the semi-final of the League Cup last season and Law is hoping to use that added experience to do even better this time around.
He said: “Last year, it was fantastic to get to the semi-final of the league cup. It was disappointing that we came up against Cliftonville on their top form at their ground but the buzz it brought around the club was brilliant.
“If we could achieve something like that again, it would be excellent. Nothing can lift the spirit of a whole club more than a semi-final or, dear forbid, even a final to look forward to.
“We’ll use the cups as a chance to be expressive and to bring the club into good moments.