Attitude wrong even before the game

EFFORT, work-rate and desire.

Those are the three things Glenavon boss Gary Hamilton often asks from his players. All three were evidently lacking from Saturday’s performance against Distillery and it left the boss far from happy.

He slammed his side’s attitude after the defeat and said that it was evident even before the game that their mentality was off. Hamilton accused his players of over-confidence going into the game as they have now been beaten by Distillery, Donegal Celtic and Dungannon - their fellow bottom four sides - since the turn of the year.

“From the changing room through to the match, the boys weren’t in the right frame of mind,” he said.

“There was a quietness in the changing room. Usually there is some laughing and joking but it was quiet. The warm-up was okay but there wasn’t the same buzz that there usually is and that carried onto the pitch.

“I don’t know if it was that they thought it would be easy but they put in the same sort of performance that they did at Donegal Celtic. Those are our two poorest performances of the season and they came against the bottom two sides in the table. They were two games that we were probably expected to win.

“Sometimes these games are the hardest. When you go to the likes of Linfield or Glentoran, sometimes you can raise your game and go out to prove a point but in games like this, sometimes people get above their stations and that shows on the pitch.”

Hamilton also said that the issue was addressed in the pre-match team-talk but when it didn’t improve, he said it was to blame for the side’s disappointing defeat.

“We even emphasised in our team-talk that there was a different mood,” he said.

“We worked hard on our shape and told the players what we wanted them to do but tactics and all of that go out the window if the attitude isn’t right.

“We told the players of the importance of the game and told them that their attitudes and work-rates had to be right. That’s what these games boil down to. If it was all down to ability then we would win because I don’t think I could swap any of my team for Distillery’s players but football isn’t based on that.

“You have to match the work-rate and desire of the other team. On Saturday, they were well up for it because it was probably last chance saloon for them. It was such an important game for them and their hunger was far greater than ours.

“There wasn’t a lot of chances and they didn’t deserve to beat us by three or four goals or anything like that but they did deserve to win. There wasn’t much difference in the class of the play but they wanted it more and I’ve no complaints with the result. Their two goals came from our poor defending and that all comes down to the attitude that we’re talking about.

“Too many of us didn’t perform. The players know that themselves. Hopefully there will be no more of those performances. The players need to get it into their mindsets now that they can’t just turn up and win games. Hopefully the next time we play those teams the frame of mind and result will be different.”