GLENAVON boss Gary Hamilton has pleaded with young striker Andrew Mitchell to up his work-rate.
The 20 year-old was taken off in the 39th minute of Saturday’s heavy defeat at Seaview and Hamilton has explained that the decision to substitute the forward was down a lack of graft rather than a poor performance.
He said: “We’d worked on our game plan all week and we had coached the players in what we wanted them to do.
“The main thing we asked was for the players to work hard and to close the ball down. Andrew didn’t start the game the best. We counted that he touched the ball nine times, gave it away eight times and his work-rate on top of that wasn’t his best.
“Then when he gave the ball away for the third goal. We thought that it wasn’t going to be his day and we weren’t going to leave him on and let him have a really bad game.
“We knew that Brendan (Bennett) would come on and work his socks off and we saw Andrew’s head going down. It (the substitution) might not do him any good confidence-wise but to be a footballer, you have to be mentally strong.”
The boss also revealed that he understands Mitchell’s situation and has in fact been in a very similar position himself.
“It happened to me when I was a young player,” explained Hamilton.
“I was taken off after 25 minutes at Blackburn and you learn from it. It wasn’t about Andrew playing badly, it was that he didn’t work hard enough.
“When you’re losing you want players who will work hard and not give the opposition time on the ball to pick passes.
“I get where the fans come from with Andrew because he’s a local boy. Nobody wants him to succeed at this club more than me and the backroom staff.
“We know the club means a lot to him but we need him to put the work in and take on board what’s being said to him.
“Pete Batey in the reserve team and Stephen Robinson at NI U19s all said that he needs to work harder to fulfil his potential so it’s not just us.”