Focus on two fronts ahead of key games

Gary Hamilton is determined to keep Glenavon challenging on two fronts ahead of two key games against Glentoran.

First up is the league clash at Mourneview Park on Saturday followed by the Irish Cup tie at The Oval next weekend.

In between the Lurgan Blues are due to travel to Carrick Rangers on Tuesday night for their rearranged league match (7.45pm).

Two seasons ago the manager simply put all his efforts into the Irish Cup - which they went on to win.

“It was a different situation two seasons ago,” said Hamilton. “We were not going to qualify for Europe through the league so our best chance was in the cup.

“We put all our efforts into the Irish Cup and it worked out in the end.

“At present we are still in with a chance of Europe through the league. We might not get there, but we are not a million miles away and will keep trying as hard as we can.

“Meeting teams so quickly is not ideal, you rarely win both of the games, but we will be trying to do just that.”

Glentoran are 12 points behind Glenavon in the table and are desperate to claw back the gap to get into the top six.

They did win the last encounter 2-0 at The Oval in November, but have lost the last four in a row.

Andy Hall was forced to retire from the game at Dungannon last week but Hamilton expects the winger to be in his unchanged side for Saturday.

“Andy took a knock on his knee, but he should be okay,” added Hamilton.

“We have managed to have a settled side in recent weeks with just a few changes on the bench. Hopefully we can get the result we want on Saturday ahead of a key week.”