Gary Hamilton calls for strong officials as Glenavon prepare for Linfield clash

Gary Hamilton
Gary Hamilton

Glenavon manager Gary Hamilton has one big wish ahead of Saturday’s Danske Premiership clash with Linfield – the officials to be strong in the heat of Windsor Park.

The Lurgan Blues are coming off the back of a dramatic Mid-Ulster draw with Portadown, but Hamilton is convinced that a couple of missed “big decisions” cost his team all three points.

“I don’t make a habit of having a go at officials, but it’s difficult for a referee in big matches, such as the derby game,” said the former Northern Ireland striker.

“And, it’s the same at Windsor Park. You have the crowd on your back, so you need strong officials. They can’t afford to be influenced.”

Ross Dunlop is the man assigned to take charge of the clash.

“Decisions rarely fall in favour of the so-called smaller clubs when they visit the bigger grounds,” Hamilton added.

“That’s why it’s important for the officials to be strong. Like players, sometimes they can freeze on the bigger stage – they can be affected by the occasion.”

Although Glenavon battled back against a 2-0 deficit on Tuesday night, Hamilton was still disappointed with the result.

“I must commend the boys – this team just don’t know when they are beaten,” he added. “But in the grand scheme of things, I though we deserved all three points.

“We’ll need to show the same commitment and produce the same work rate at Windsor – it’s never an easy place to go.”