IRISH LEAGUE: All eyes on European play-offs for Glenavon

Gary Hamilton. Pic by PressEye Ltd.
Gary Hamilton. Pic by PressEye Ltd.

Glenavon’s preparations for the European play-off process remains on course phsically and mentally insists manager Gary Hamilton.

The Lurgan Blues boss is confident the approach to the closing run of Danske Bank Premiership games will place his side in a prime position to take advantage of the final route into the Europa League.

Last Saturday’s draw with Coleraine allowed Hamilton to utilise his squad depth - a tactic that continued in the midweek trip to Linfield and will remain the approach away to Cliftonville this weekend then against Crusaders on April 29 in advance of the knockout finale to the season.

“Overall our performances have been encouraging and it was the same on Saturday against Coleraine,” said Hamilton. “You can see the focus from within the squad and everyone is working towards the European play-offs.

“Players coming in have done really well and managed to build up minutes on the pitch.

“Then you can see the progress of a young player like Jordan Jenkins and it is about making the most of the squad across the board leading into the play-offs.”

Rhys Marshall will complete a two-match suspension against Cliftonville and Hamilton is aware of the disciplinary mathematics.

“The big concern, of course, is the risk of injury between now and the play-offs,” he said. “We also want to avoid suspension problems so will be resting Ciaran Martyn, Mark Sykes and David Elebert due to all three on the verge of bans.

“The aim would be to arrange a game for the three before the play-offs.

“We cannot start on our summer plans until we know the budget in place so it impacts off the pitch but, in terms of the players, the attitudes have been very positive.”