play the team - not pitch

Crusaders have inflicted Glenavon’s heaviest defeat of the season so far and their former front-man David Rainey says Glenavon shouldn’t expect an easy afternoon this weekend.

The Blues recently succumbed 3-0 on Seaview’s artificial surface. Rainey doesn’t foresee any more straightforward a task against the Crues on Mourneview’s grass pitch on Saturday.

He said: “Half of our team didn’t turn up that day at Seaview. Everybody talks about a plastic pitch but you can’t worry about what surface a game is on. Saturday’s game will be on grass and it won’t be any easier. I think people will be up for it a bit more this time though and we’ll do our best.”

Glenavon are currently sitting one spot behind second placed Crusaders knowing that a win would draw them level on points with their opponents.

Rainey spent eight years with the Belfast club, winning an Irish Cup and the Setanta Cup among other trophies during his spell at the club.

Having already lined up against them since his summer departure, he says his old allegiances won’t play on his mind as he takes to the Mourneview pitch this weekend.

“It was awkward going up to Seaview but once you cross the line, it’s just a game of football. I’m just trying to win the game for my team,” he said.

“Going back to Seaview was harder. Saturday will be a different ball game because we’re at home. I’m trying to get Glenavon as far up the league as possible. I’ve nothing to prove to Stephen Baxter. There was no bad blood in me leaving. The only thing I’m trying to prove to Glenavon fans is that I’m trying to repay the club for taking a chance on me.

“It’s a massive game coming off the back of a disappointing result against Coleraine. We need to bounce back as soon as we can and pick up points at home.”

It’ll be a tough few weeks in the league for Glenavon as they follow this game with trips to both Glentoran and Linfield. Rainey, however, isn’t fazed.

He said: “They’re not easy matches but we had a tough run a while ago too and we just have to get on with it.

“You’ll meet these teams at some stage so we just have to try and pick up points as best we can.”