Chance to bounce back

GARY Hamilton has demanded his players bounce back from their dismal display in the defeat to Lisburn Distillery.

The Blues have lost seven of their last eight league games after last weekend’s 2-1 loss but have the chance to rectify the situation in two games this week.

Hamilton’s side host Ballymena United at Mourneview Park on Saturday before travelling to take on Glentoran in the rearranged match at the Oval on Tuesday evening.

If they are to pick up points in those games, the boss says his players’ attitudes must improve.

He said: “Last Saturday’s performance wasn’t acceptable and if we perform like that again, Ballymena will turn us over too. Hopefully we get a reaction instead and we can pick up three points. Hopefully the boys will have learnt their lesson and will come out in the right frame of mind.

“We want to pick up points and Ballymena is a game we have a chance of doing that if we perform to our capabilities. You have to work hard for everything you get in life and this is no different. Hopefully we can do that.”

The Oval hasn’t been a happy hunting ground for Glenavon and they are without a win at the ground in over 15 years since they won 1-0 in October 1997. Hamilton, therefore, is targeting four points over the week’s two fixtures.

He said: “I know Glenavon’s record in getting points down at Glentoran hasn’t been good but it’s a place where we can go and get at least a point. If we did that and managed to get three points against Ballymena, it would be a good week.

“Again, the only way we can do that is by working hard and having the right frame of mind.”

Picking up points in these games is certainly of the utmost importance for Glenavon after both of the clubs below them in the Premiership table won last weekend. That means the gap between them and Donegal Celtic has been cut to eight points but Hamilton is sure they will stay away from the relegation zone.

He said: “I’m confident we’ll be away from relegation come the end of the season. If we did lose these two games and the others picked up points, we could get sucked back into it but I prefer to look at it positively and concentrate on our own performances.

“If we’re to win at least two of our next five games, that would secure us. The likelihood is that it would be easier to get those in these games rather than against the likes of Portadown, Cliftonville and Coleraine.”

In order to pick up those wins this week, Hamilton says he will change the side that lost so poorly to Lisburn Distillery:

“Everyone is back to full fitness so it’s a good problem to have. There could be a few changes after Saturday’s performance. The reserves won 3-1 and there were a couple of players who did very well so we’ll have to think about that.

“There are boys waiting in the wings for their chance so if they get it, they’ll have to do the job. The boys who were in the team last week didn’t and that comes down to their desire.”