IRISH LEAGUE: Glenavon boss Gary Hamilton expects tough test from Sky Blues

Glenavon boss Gary Hamilton is expecting a test of his players’ defensive resilience to hold the key on Saturday as the Lurgan Blues welcome in-form Ballymena United to Mourneview Park.

Before the encounter with the Sky Blues Hamilton wants to see continued defensive stability.

“We have always managed to score goals and that has been a big part of our progress,” said Hamilton.

“However, statistics show we are down to under two goals per game and our lowest return over the past eight fixtures than any time in the last five years.

“But we must continue to trust in our ability and continue to do the things which have helped us achieve success in the past.

“I will continue to back our players as we have real attacking strength across the squad but just need something to turn in our favour.

“One benefit, despite a lack of a consistent defensive line-up, has been an improved record at the back.”

Hamilton is also aware of the Ballymena threat from both open play and set-piece situations.

“Ballymena have players in great form and full of confidence,” said Hamilton. “They have regular scorers on the pitch but also a real strength from set-pieces.

“Manager David Jeffrey has put together a well-organised and hard-working side that offers a difficult challenge.

“It can be difficult in part-time football to work on certain areas but Ballymena can cause real trouble from free-kicks and corner-kicks so we must not give away anything.”