Hamilton defends his starting line-up

GARY Hamilton has defended his decision to leave himself and Niall Henderson on the bench for last Saturday’s match against Ballymena.

The Blues were 2-0 down at the break when both players were brought on and there was strong argument amongst the support that the duo should have started the game.

However, the boss says he wanted to keep faith in players who had performed well despite a narrow 1-0 victory at Seaview the week before.

“Niall (Henderson) has missed a few weeks now through injury and the boys played well last week,” he said.

“In an ideal world, you’d like to play Niall but the players did well last week and you couldn’t drop Kyle Cherry. Niall’s a big player for us but in terms of the starting team, I felt that the team I picked was the right one because I haven’t played in a few weeks either and Matty Burrows came on against Crusaders and nearly got us a point. At the end of the day, it didn’t work out.”

Matty Burrows and young winger David McAllister made way for the duo at half-time on Saturday but Hamilton says it didn’t reflect their performances, particularly McAllister, who Hamilton says he was protecting.

“Matty and David were unfortunate to come off. It wasn’t that they were the two worst players on the pitch, in fact I thought the opposite of young McAllister.

“He just wasn’t getting enough of the ball and I thought it wasn’t right to leave a young player on the pitch in the situation we were in because I didn’t want his confidence getting knocked because of the way the experienced players were playing.”