IRISH LEAGUE: Glenavon boss Gary Hamilton under no illusions as he prepares for derby clash with Portadown

Gary Hamilton
Gary Hamilton

Glenavon manager Gary Hamilton insists he is under no illusions as he prepares for Saturday’s Mid Ulster derby showdown with Portadown.

The Lurgan Blues lie a hefty 19 points ahead of the Ports in the Danske Bank Premiership as they continue their assault on the top spots.

They are also unbeaten in their last four league meetings with Ronnie McFall’s side, with some bookmakers installing Hamilton’s men as 4/9 favourites to claim all three points at Mourneview Park on Saturday.

Despite the statistics – and odds – being stacked in Glenavon’s favour, Hamilton insists derby games boil down to whoever performs on the day.

“All that means nothing going into this game. The points history and recent records, it all goes out the window,” Hamilton said.

“Saturday will boil down to whoever performs on the day. Luck can play a part, too, but you need to perform.

“On our day we can beat anyone in this league, so we know if we perform to our strengths then we have a good chance of winning.

“Recent derbies between the sides have been pretty exciting, so hopefully fans are treated to something similar this time.”

Portadown have lost seven out of their last 10 Premiership outings, including a 1-0 defeat to Glenavon on Boxing Day.

But Hamilton is preparing for a strong challenge from Saturday’s visitors.

“They have done well in the Irish Cup and recently beat Linfield. They have also brought in Philip Lowry – so they are a strong side,” Hamilton added.