Glenavon manager Gary Hamilton is plotting to dump his former club out of the Irish Cup on Monday night as the Lurgan Blues prepare for their biggest game of the season.
Battling on two fronts in the league and cup, the focus will now be firmly on the quarter-final clash against the Glens and the chance to take on Crusaders in the last four.
“Aiming for a top six spot and bidding to stay in the Irish Cup causes us selection problems, but as manager it is a headache I am glad to have,” says Hamilton.
“Managers and coaches do their jobs, but it is the players who go out and deliver the results and it is the players who have taken us this far.
“We have to make the cup game top priority. It means so much to the players, the club and the fans and we will give it our best shot to try and get within 90 minutes of the final.
“Glentoran will start as favourites, we have not beaten them down there for a very long time, but maybe this is the time we will do it.
“We go into games now believing we can win and if we play to our potential and get that bit of luck in our favour which you sometimes need in the cup then we can progress.
“The pressure is all on the Glens. If they go out their season is over and it is perhaps their last chance to qualify for Europe the way the league is shaping up. However, they have a great tradition in the Irish Cup and as holders we know our job will not be easy.”
Hamilton says the fixture pile-up has had an influence on selection. “We can’t ask a number of players to compete in two games over three days, it is not physically possible for them to do that. The postponements put us in this situation. We have a big game on Saturday at home to Dungannon and we want to pick up three points. They have picked up some excellent results this season but whatever team we put out the target remains another three points.”