GARY Hamilton says his Glenavon side must cut out their defensive mistakes if they are to progres in Saturday’s Irish Up fifth round tie against old rivals Portadown.
The derby Cup match at Mourneview Park, kicking off at the earlier time of 2pm, is the second time the sides go head to head in a month, with Portadown, of course, running out 2-0 victors on Boxing Day.
However, this time Hamilton will be taking to the pitch himself, alongside new signings Kris Lindsay, Brian McCaul and Tony Grant, and the boss is hoping that his new look side can get a result this weekend, providing they stop their individual defensive errors.
“With players like Kevin Braniff and Matthew Tipton, we know that if we make any mistakes, we’ll be punished,” he told the ‘MAIL.’
“With no disrespect to Distillery, these guys are a level up again from who we played against last week. Braniff got one chance in the last game against us and it was in the back of the net.
“We need to stop the two strikers because that’s where they get a lot of their play. Braniff drops off and feeds balls into the box and he can obviously score goals as well. Tipton hangs about the box all day and he’s a great finisher.
“In the last game, there wasn’t that much of a difference between the two teams so hopefully with our signings coming in we might be a bit closer to them and give them a better game. That’s what we have to hope for and that’s what we can take out of the last game.”
Hamilton is also hoping that the club’s supporters can help to fire up his side and roar them on to victory against bitter rivals Portadown.
“It’s a massive game,” he said.
“We all know there’s going to be a big atmosphere and it’s a great cup tie for everyone. You want to win every game of football, no matter who you’re playing. Being a Glenavon fan myself, you want to beat your rivals but the reality of it is that there aren’t too many players at clubs now who feel like that.
“It’s more of a personal pride thing with most players now that they just want to beat every team they come up against so hopefully the crowd and the atmosphere will have our boys right up for it on Saturday.
“It would be great to get a Cup run but you take every game as it comes and there’s no point in looking that far ahead.
“We’re focused on the game with Portadown and if we can go out and do the business, then maybe we can look further ahead.
“It’s a massive game and a very difficult game but its one that the boys are looking forward to and hopefully we’ll be able to turn them over.”