Happy new year the target

GARY Hamilton is keen to greet in the New Year in positive style.

Glenavon play their final game of 2012 on Saturday, hosting Linfield at Mourneview Park before beginning 2013 with a trip to Donegal Celtic Park on Tuesday (New Year’s Day), both games kicking off at 3pm.

And after striking up an impressive run of form, the Blues’ player manager is confident two positive results are achievable.

They’ve only managed to pick up one point in their two games against an out-of-sorts Linfield so far this term but Hamilton says they deserved more than that and will be looking to claim all three points this weekend.

“We’ve played well in both games against Linfield this season and on our day, we’re capable of beating them,” he said.

“We deserved something from the first game and then we deserved to win at Windsor Park so that was encouraging for us.

“It takes all of our players to play to the top of their abilities. You can’t afford to have any passengers if you’re going to beat Linfield and that’s what it comes down to. When you play against teams like Linfield, you have to put in a lot of work-rate and effort but if our boys do that then we’ve got a chance.

Linfield currently look far from a league winning side the pressure is mounting on David Jeffrey’s position. Hamilton, however, doesn’t see much sense in that.

“It’s pretty silly,” he said plainly. “He’s won six doubles in the last seven years and that’s a great achievement for any manager. People talk about the money he has but he still has to spend it well and he’s done that.

“I don’t think it’s right the money they get from the IFA, but with that comes expectation and in recent seasons David Jeffrey has dealt with that very well.

“I’m surprised with the quality they have that they haven’t got a run going, but they’ll get it right at some stage. It will come. I think they’ve maybe given themselves too much to do with regards to the title but you never know with the players they have.

“If Cliftonville were to lose Liam Boyce in January then you never know. He’s a central part of their team and it would be a big blow to lose a player like that. It might put Linfield back into the race. You can never rule them out. They can still put together a ten or 15 match winning run.”

Linfield certainly haven’t matched up to expectations so far this season and also failing to impress are Donegal Celtic. DC, along with Lisburn Distillery, seem cut off at the foot of the table and Hamilton is certainly looking to pick up six points from these two games, a target that he doesn’t feel is unrealistic.

“I’m confident of getting something out of every game we go into this season, even during our bad run I said that,” added Hamilton. “I’m confident in our group of players and when they perform, they’re capable of beating any team.

“Last year there were games where we thought the best we could do was a draw, but this year is totally different. I’m confident if my players perform to the best of their ability, they can beat anyone. We’ve proved that so far this season, bar maybe against Cliftonville.”

nTHE Triangle Glenavon Supporters Club bus to Donegal Celtic on New Years Day leaves Mourneview Park at 1.45pm and Moira at 2.00pm.