Boss targets six points

NOW that Glenavon have secured their Danske Bank Premiership survival, Gary Hamilton is looking to finish as high up the table as possible and bring extra cash to the club.

The Blues’ financial difficulties have been well documented and Hamilton now wants his side to do what they can to help the club on the pitch. They currently sit in ninth spot just two points above Dungannon Swifts and would receive increased prize money for remaining above the Stangmore Park club.

Hamilton had originally intended to give a lot of his younger players a chance to impress in the remaining games of the season but, with money scarce and every point valuable, their chances will be more restricted, starting with the game away at Ballymena on Saturday.

“With the financial situation the way it is, finishing one place higher and getting a bit of extra money could make a difference to the club,” he said.

“I wanted to see if my young players are capable of playing first-team football. That would work out for the better in the long run but with the situation the way it is, it impacts on that. Any money we can get is important to Glenavon so we need to finish as high up the table as we can.

“Definitely, the young guys will be involved at some stage. It might not be what we had intended to do - throw three or four in at once but there will be a couple at least on the bench in the last couple of games.

“We would like to finish the season with another two wins if possible.”

Hamilton also praised his players after they mathematically secured their survival with three games to spare.

“It’s mission accomplished for what we promised the board at the start of the season,” he said.

“It’s better to set your targets realistically. With a budget of just over half what it was last season, there wasn’t going to be massive improvements in one season but anybody

looking at it and takes the bigger picture in will know that we’ve improved things.

“Compared to Glenavon teams of the past, these boys aren’t getting as much money but now we have players who want to play for the club. If they didn’t, they wouldn’t be here because the money isn’t as good as it could be. That’s the way most clubs are going at the moment.”

Hamilton is hopeful he will be able to start assembling his squad for next season within that strict budget.

He said: “I’ve been speaking to a winger. At this moment in time, it’s looking very positive. At this minute in time, if the deal goes through, it will fall well within the wage structure that has been set.

“I’ve got a wage budget to adhere to and as much as I want to have the club challenging, we have ensure there is a club here.”