Hamilton focused on visit of champions Linfield

GLENAVON host Linfield at Mourneview Park on Saturday sitting one point ahead of the champions but manager Gary Hamilton is not looking at league tables or positions for a game he knows will be a stern test for his team.

Gary Hamilton’s men are in good form and are unbeaten in five, while the going hasn’t been as good for the Belfast side, losing two of their last three league matches. However, Hamilton isn’t convinced that current form will prove to be an advantage for his side and is wary of a Linfield backlash this weekend.

“When teams like that go on a bad run, they’re going to snap out of it at some stage,” he said. That’s the way they are, bad runs don’t last a long time so they’re going to give someone a good beating soon. Teams like Linfield only go out of form for short periods of time and I’ve no doubt that they’ll still win the league this year. I just hope that it’s not this Saturday that they get the result that kick-starts their season.

“Hopefully we can delay it and extra week or so. We’re very confident and we know that if we keep performing the way we have been, it will take a very good team to beat us. On our day, we’re capable of beating any team in the Irish League, not just the lower sides.

“It will all come down to whether we show the attitude and desire that we have been showing since the start of the season.

“Hopefully we can bring the positives out of our last five results and get a win.”

In order to do that, Hamilton will again be naming an unchanged line-up as he keeps his faith with the side that has bagged two victories in their last two matches.

“The team has gone five games unbeaten and you can’t change anyone the way they have played,” he said.

“No-one has played badly in that period. Maybe on Saturday we didn’t perform on the ball in the second half but the work rate was still there.

“Our first half performance was good and the only time we can make a change is if somebody is playing poorly. At the minute they aren’t so it’ll be the same team again unless there’s any injuries or sicknesses.”

Hamilton also had a word for match referee Andrew Davey, who he says must be strong with Linfield sure to have a large crowd in the visitors’ stand at Mourneview Park.

“We need a strong referee because there’s no doubt that Linfield get more of the big decisions than other clubs. It’s hard for referees whenever Linfield have such a big crowd so close to the pitch as they are at Mourneview.

“The referees have to be strong. We haven’t had the rub of the green so far this season so hopefully we won’t be talking about decisions again after this game.”