A lack of concentration

GARY Hamilton has defended his side’s tactics after Glenavon seemed to set up overly defensive on Saturday.

The Blues were over-run in the first-half at the Oval as they looked to sit back well inside their own half.

Hamilton, however, explained that his side were trying to take the Glens’ talented midfield out of the game and instead bemoaned his side’s lack of concentration that led to them conceding just minutes after drawing level in the second period.

He said: “We had a game-plan which was to stop their three midfielders playing and getting on the ball. It’s better to have a defender on the ball rather than a midfielder who is more comfortable on it. We watched Portadown playing against them the week before and that’s what they did too. It worked for them because they stopped the midfielders getting on the ball.

“Before Glentoran scored, it was working well for us because Mark Clarke was taking the ball out of their defence and they were losing the ball. Then we got in behind them a couple of times and we had as many chances as they did until they scored.

“After the goal, we had to change it because then they didn’t have to force it to score. We had to come out and we went 4-4-2.

“I felt it worked when we changed it again and we got ourselves back into the game. We were well on top in the second-half until we scored and got our just rewards.

“It was a gamble because they started to hit us on the break. That’s why we lined up the way we did at the start because then we stopped that happening.

“We weren’t going out to get a point. We were going for a win. If you watch the first half of their game against Portadown, Glentoran had all the possession in the first half there as well.

“Unfortunately the attitude and discipline of our players cost us after we scored.

“It happened against Ballymena and again this week. After we went 1-1 on Saturday, I felt confident we would win but those first five or ten minutes were crucial.

“I’ve played for Glentoran and if they don’t score in that period, the fans get on their backs and the players end up going into a shell and sitting deep.

“We worked on things after the Ballymena games and told people what we wanted them to do but it comes down to responsibility. We can’t install mental discipline into players.

“The older players like Kris Lindsay and Eddie McCallion have it but the younger players don’t yet. We’re not criticising them for that because it comes with experience.

“We conceded from a set-piece after going man-marking, which we did for the first time because they hit most of their corners deep. We asked players to take the responsibility but we didn’t get close to Mark Clarke when he scored. I’ll not single out who it was but our player switched off. It’s just a case of concentration, we’re not asking players to do something they can’t.

“We need to concentrate and have more discipline if we’re going to get results.”