No risks says Hamilton

Back to the Oval for Glenavon on Saturday.
Back to the Oval for Glenavon on Saturday.

Gary Hamilton is taking a ‘no risk’ strategy ahead of next week’s Irish Cup semi-final with Crusaders.

The Lurgan Blues go back to the scene of their epic last gasp quarter-final win on Saturday to begin their post split fixtures against Glentoran.

However, Hamilton will not risk key players in the league game.

“The Irish Cup tie is massive for the club. I will not be taking any risks ahead of that,” said the Blues boss.

“If I was to play the cup semi-final team and someone got injured, a week is not enough time to make a full recovery in many cases.

“I cannot take that chance. We are not going to The Oval to lie down, but at the same time we have to give top priority to the cup tie. The players, fans and club have two massive goals to look ahead to - reaching a final and the chance to get into Europe. That has not happened at Glenavon for a very long time so we will give it our best shot.

“Had we won our last two league games then we had an outside chance of third place and Europe, but even if we won the next five games I still don’t think that would be enough, so our best chance of achieving that is getting to the cup final.” While Hamilton has pencilled out his cup team on paper he has not ruled out making a few late changes.

“Saturday is a chance for some players to come in and stake a claim for a place in the cup tie,” added Hamilton.

“We have already shown this season we have some strength in depth and I have no doubt the team we put out on Saturday is capable of not only a good performance but also getting three points to go above Glentoran into fifth place.”