Forward-thinking Glenavon boss Gary Hamilton looking for quickfire reply to opening day defeat

Glenavon manager Gary Hamilton looks on from the dugout during last weekend's loss to Linfield. Pic by Pacemaker.
Glenavon manager Gary Hamilton looks on from the dugout during last weekend's loss to Linfield. Pic by Pacemaker.

Analyse and advance - that’s the message from manager Gary Hamilton as Glenavon attempt to bounce back from an opening-day defeat with a weekend visit to Warrenpoint Town.

The Lurgan Blues managed summer success at Mourneview Park over full-time Molde but failed to find a way past Linfield in Saturday’s first test of the Danske Bank Premiership.

A single-goal defeat - off a goal by former Glenavon player Daniel Kearns - left Hamilton looking both back and forward.

“We cannot control the past, only make sure we learn lessons, spend this week working on the negatives and go into the Warrenpoint Town match aiming to build on the positives,” said Hamilton. “It doesn’t matter if we win, lose or draw - the target at this club is to focus on the next fixture in search of victory.

“That will be the case on Saturday now away to a Warrenpoint Town side capable of creating chances at a venue in which we’ve struggled in the past.”

Hamilton finished frustrated last weekend at a number of decisions by the match officials.

“We’ll never know what might have been if certain decisions had gone in our favour, however, the other side is we produced a good performance but lacked the clinical edge,” said the Glenavon boss. “To create so many good chances against a side of Linfield’s quality shows an attacking strength and, traditionally, we’ve always managed to score goals, even back to when Molde came here in the Europa League.

“You must punish teams in those strong periods and that’s an area we will focus on in the build-up to Warrenpoint.”

The match lacked a clean sheet as reward for Caolan Marron’s midweek contract extension but Hamilton took time out to highlight the centre-back’s quality.

“We are delighted with Caolan’s decision and the terms of his deal allow for extra work with our strength-and-conditioning coach,” said the Glenavon boss. “Caolan is capable, in my view, of playing across the water.

“To play at first-team level in the centre-back position from just 17 years old is testament to his potential and ability.”

Warrenpoint Town manager Stephen McDonnell is also in pursuit of those first welcome points following an away defeat to Coleraine by 3-0.

“It may have been harsh as a scoreline but we must also make sure we learn lessons from the game,” said McDonnell. “I was disappointed with the manner in which we lost the goals.

“The decision-making process came down to basic human errors, they did not have to cut us open to earn those goals.

“For me, they had four real opportunities across the whole game and scored three goals, with probably seven point-blank chances in our favour including hitting the woodwork a few times.

“It is up to us to address those areas in training and we feel we can solve errors of that nature.”

Warrenpoint welcome Glenavon with McDonnell anticipating a familiar test in the form of the fresh challenge.

“Glenavon play a similar style to Coleraine,” said McDonnell. “So the work put in off last Saturday is not just about gains down the line, hopefully, it will directly help us this weekend.”