Strikers ordered to launch attack

GLENAVON’S attack must up their game if the Blues are to beat Ballymena this Saturday.

That’s according to manager and striker Gary Hamilton in a message to both himself and his team-mates ahead of the trip to the Ballymena Showgrounds (kick-off 3pm).

The Sky Blues have been draw specialists so far this term, drawing six and winning just two league games. However, Glenn Ferguson’s team have lost just twice and are unbeaten at home.

Hamilton knows his midfield and forwards, including himself, must be on form if they are to be the first team to leave the Showgrounds with maximum points this season and wants them to improve on their last league performance.

“We know that if we’re going to get anything from the game, our front six will have to perform a lot better than they did against Coleraine,” he said.

“I thought that the front six worked hard but quality wise, we weren’t good enough. We didn’t create too many chances or play to our abilities but that’s probably the first game in which we haven’t created chances.

“Ballymena are a solid team and they’re not getting beaten too often. Spike has come in and made a lot of changes. I know he had been trying to sign another striker all summer and didn’t manage to get one so that’s probably their weakest area.

“In the other areas of the pitch, they’re very strong. The back four have been very good this year, haven’t conceded too many goals and their midfield is good too.

“We need to stay solid at the back as well because they’re not the type of team that we’ll score three goals against. There aren’t too many teams doing it this year so we need to keep a clean sheet and then take things from there.

“If we play to our abilities though, we can get something out of the game because we’re a good side.”

Hamilton insists his rivalry with Ferguson from their days at the Belfast ‘Big Two’ won’t enter his thinking this weekend.

“Spike is somebody I get on with and have a lot of respect for,” he told the ‘MAIL.’

“It’s just another game in my eyes. We want to go out and get three points as always and Ballymena will be the same. There’s no added bonus of having the chance to beat Glen Ferguson’s team. We’ll have a chat after the game as usual.”

Hamilton and defender Eddie McCallion both sat out Tuesday night’s Irn-Bru League Cup win over Dergview and the manager had challenged Matty Burrows to nail down a starting spot for this weekend’s game before the forward struck the winner during the week.

“Matty will get his chance up top on Tuesday night so we’ll see how he goes,” the boss had said before Tuesday’s game.

Meanwhile Glenavon have been draw at home to Glentoran in the IRN-BRU Cup quarter-finals. The tie will take place on Monday, November 5.