GARY Hamilton says Glenavon can win at Seaview on Saturday and reach the last eight of the Irish Cup.
Glenavon were heavily beaten 5-1 on their last visit to Crusaders’ artificial surface and the boss has been openly critical of both Crusaders and Cliftonville’s pitches. However, he is confident his players can defy the odds to spring a surprise result.
In order to do that, they’ll have to overcome a Crusaders side who have lost just once in 18 domestic games at home this season. However, Hamilton says a win for his side is not beyond the realms of possibility if they put in ‘maximum effort’ and get some luck along the way.
“We said from the start that we’d take any team anywhere except Cliftonville or Crusaders away,” he said.
“Seaview is a difficult place to go to and get a result but we’ve seen that funny things can happen in cup matches so we can beat the odds.
“You never know what might happen. I know the boys will give maximum effort and hopefully we’ll get the bit of luck we need to progress. If you’re going on stats and facts then nobody will give us a chance so the boys can go out, enjoy the game and give it their best shot.
“Last year I didn’t feel we could beat certain teams but this year I think we can beat any team on our day. I have a strong belief in my players and I know they can beat any team in this league.”
However, if Glenavon are to reach the last eight of the competition, they’ll do it without key players as Ciaran Martyn, Kris Lindsay and Hamilton himself will sit this one out with injuries. On top of that, star striker Mark Farren and key defender Eddie McCallion have question marks over their availability with hamstring and knee problems.
Hamilton is hopeful the duo will play but says the selection is a tough decision with the rest of the season to think of.
He said: “I think they should be okay but there is a risk that they won’t play. The league is our bread and butter this season and we have to look at the bigger picture. It would be great to get another cup run but we have to see if it is more important to keep certain players for the rest of the season or to risk them on Saturday.”
The Victoria Glenavon Supporters Club will be running a bus to the Crusaders game on Saturday. It leaves Mourneview Park at 1.30pm. Only members will be allowed to travel on the bus.
The William Walker bus for Saturday’s match at Seaview will leave Mourneview Park at 1.45pm.