Hamilton wants more victory feel good factor

GLENAVON boss Gary Hamilton wants his side to use their “winning feeling” from last Saturday as motivation ahead of this weekend’s game against Cliftonville.

The Blues travel to Solitude to take on Tommy Breslin’s men on Saturday (kick-off 3pm) on the back of their 1-0 victory over Glentoran, and Hamilton wants them to kick on now and add another three points to their quest for survival this weekend.

“It’s going to be tough, there’s no doubt about that but we want to get the three points again,” he said.

“When you get that feeling, you want it every week and that’s your aim for the next week. A point would probably be a good result down at Solitude but if we perform to the same level as we did on Saturday then there’s no reason why we can’t take all three.

“Cliftonville have been excellent again this season. When Eddie Patterson left, people wondered what would happen to Cliftonville and if truth be told, they’ve got better. They’re a good side and it’s a bit of an advantage for them playing on that pitch as well. They train on it and play on it and it’s difficult for us but the only good thing is it’s a better surface than Crusaders’. It’s a bit more like a grass pitch.”

The game could see Diarmuid O’Carroll lining up against Glenavon for the first time since leaving the Blues in January and Hamilton is wary of the threat posed by his former striker.

He said: “It’s always about past players coming back to haunt you. It’s a thing at every club and I’ve done it before myself so we’ll have to watch him.

“George McMullan is a top player as well. If he plays, he’ll have to be watched carefully because in my eyes he’s one of the top midfielders in the league, outside of Chris Morrow. He’s dangerous, he’s a clever player and he can score goals.

“Chris Scannell is also one of the best at holding the ball up in the league. He’s got the work-rate as well and there is a lot of quality throughout their side.

Hamilton is a manager normally reluctant to adjust a winning side, but changes will be forced upon him this week after Mark Turkington, Jay Magee and Niall Henderson all had to be withdrawn early from last Saturday’s victory. Turkington could be out for the Blues’ next four matches after being stretchered off in the second half against Glentoran.

“Turk has got a gash on the back of his calf and he had to get his muscles stitched inside and the skin stitched outside so it’s a big blow for us. He could be out for four or five weeks now,” said Hamilton.

“It’s a blow because Turk has played very well lately. Since I took over, we’ve played five games with Mark Turkington and Kyle Neill on the left side and out of those five games, we’ve got five results with four draws and a win. It’s a stat in itself that we get results with those two playing together down the left.”

Things aren’t quite as bad for Magee and Henderson, both of whom could still play in this weekend’s game.

“Jay has a hamstring injury so I’m not sure what the extend of it is at the minute,” said the boss. He didn’t train last week bcause it was tight but Jay being Jay wanted to play on Saturday. His performance was exceptional until he had to go off and it was great to see the old Jay Magee back again.

“Niall Henderson’s got a bad ankle and that’s been an ongoing problem with him. It’s one of those injuries that we’ll have to look at at the end of the season. It’s probably on him if he plays on Saturday or not. It’s a pain thing because there’s not much can be done with it so it depends how much pain he’s in this week as to whether he’s in the team.”