GLENAVON boss Gary Hamilton sai his side has missed out on a ‘big’ opportunity to reach the Irish Cup final.
With top sides Glentoran, Portadown and Cliftonville already knocked out of the tournament, the gaffer say his side have passed up an opportunity to go all the way after being dumped out by Crusaders on Saturday afternoon.
“If we had won that match, there was only Linfield and Coleraine left in the Cup from the top six,” said Hamilton.
“Going by the performance, the boys didn’t realise how big an opportunity it was for them to go the whole way.
“You can’t think you’ve got another few years left because the way the Irish Cup has gone this season, we had as a big a chance as we’re going to have. It’s disappointing for the fans because they’re probably coming to the game with the same mindset but it’s neither here nor there now because we were rubbish on Saturday.”
Hamilton was far from pleased with his side’s performance in the 4-0 thrashing and says he won’t accept another display like that as the Blues battle to avoid relegation.
“There wasn’t one player who could say they gave their all and it’s unbelievable,” said the boss.
“It was the worst performance since I’ve taken over by a mile.
“We only put in three tackles in the second half. If the determination is there, you’ll be making 10 times that. We didn’t do it on Saturday and it was a bit worrying for us.
“Every game since we’ve taken over, the stats have read that we’ve doubled the tackles of the opposing team. That shows that we’re putting the effort in and the only way we can be beaten is through quality.
“However, on Saturday Crusaders had made double the amount of tackles we had at half-time and in the second-half they made five times as many as us despite being in a comfortable position.
“That can’t be the case, especially in a Cup match and it’s very disappointing.
“There was no pressure on the boys on Saturday. Crusaders were the favourites and we thought that our boys would go out and play like they did in the second half against Carrick.
“They didn’t. They let themselves down and let the supporters down. The players saw the ovation they got last week and to go and perform like that in front of the crowd is not acceptable.
“We know that and they know that. We told the boys what we wanted them to do and they didn’t do it. I’ve asked them for effort, work-rate and commitment since we came to the club and on Saturday there was none of that whatsoever.
“At half-time we were 1-0 down having missed probably the best two chances of the game. We were still in with a chance and we went over the instructions with them again but it was even worse in the second half.
“I’m hoping that I can put it down to a one-off and we can put it behind us and do what we have to do to stay clear of relegation.
“We’re trying to get people to come and watch us but they’re not going to watch that, it’s not acceptable. In no uncertain terms will it be accepted again.”