Hamilton’s search for Lurgan Blues’ latest knockout hero

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Glenavon manager Gary Hamilton has challenged his players to step up and grab the spotlight at Shamrock Park.

The Lurgan Blues’ defence of the Irish Cup crown will reach the quarter-final stage with a derby date against Portadown.

Hamilton wants his squad to embrace the high-stakes test and use the occasion to make a mark.

“Every player should be dreaming about this weekend and becoming the one who can grab the moment,” said Hamilton. “We have a squad of players with experience of two Irish Cup finals, so that must be used on Saturday.

“Even for people like Greg Moorhouse or Caolan Marron in a first Irish League season with Glenavon, they have stepped up and been impressive.

“We have players who should thrive on the big occasion and Saturday will be about grabbing that responsibility.

“There is going to be a great atmosphere and no-one will get a second bite at what is a major one-off match.”

Hamilton’s search may be for the next Glenavon cup hero but, by way of contrast, Niall Currie is drawing confidence from the familiar.

The Ports produced one of the highlights of the season last weekend against defending champions Crusaders in the clash between the Danske Bank Premiership leaders and basement outfit.

Now the focus turns from the season-long battle against relegation to a shot at the Irish Cup semi-final.

“We want more of the same really,” said Currie. “Last weekend, plus the previous game with Linfield, showed what we can do by working together.

“We also want the same level of backing from the supporters and to walk off to a standing ovation last weekend after a draw meant so much to us all.

“It shows the fans are with us and just want to see some pride in the jersey on the pitch.

“It is a massive match but the mood around the club is really positive at the minute and we want to carry that on to the end of the season.

“The pleasing part of the Crusaders match was also how we created chances and showed that composure to be brave on the ball.”