Glenavon looking to keep on the gas off back-to-back wins

Glenavon manager Gary Hamilton
Glenavon manager Gary Hamilton
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Glenavon boss Gary Hamilton wants his players to step on the gas to maintain momentum following back-to-back league wins.

Defeats of Linfield and Institute on home soil within five days offered a significant boost to a Glenavon side struggling for consistency.

Pacemaker Belfast 27-11-17'Portadown v Glenavon - Mid Ulster Cup'Portadown's manager Niall Currie during today's game at , Portadown.  Photo by David Maginnis/Pacemaker Press

Pacemaker Belfast 27-11-17'Portadown v Glenavon - Mid Ulster Cup'Portadown's manager Niall Currie during today's game at , Portadown. Photo by David Maginnis/Pacemaker Press

The Lurgan Blues now hit the road for a test with Carrick Rangers aiming to continue that points progress.

“I have told the boys, yeah, you have got your applause, you’ve got two wins on the bounce, but it’s now up to you to bring that level of performance again to Carrick,” said Hamilton. “To be honest with you, the level of performance without the ball tonight (against Institute) and against Linfield was very good, so we need the same effort against Carrick.

“They can all play, but we need that same intensity of getting the ball back from the other team, to give us that platform to go and then show our ability when we are on the ball.

“Obviously him scoring a hat-trick down there last year meant starting Stephen (Murray), that came into my thinking as I knew I wasn’t going to be playing.

“So Stephen came on and done rightly against Linfield and he has followed that up with two goals against ’Stute and, hopefully, he can keep going against Carrick on Saturday.

“There’s competition for places now, which is great and I was just delighted he scored two goals.

“Andrew Mitchell went off with a slight back injury against Institute and will be assessed at training.

“Since I have been back home any game that I have ever played against Carrick at Taylor’s Avenue has been a difficult game.

“It has never ever been an easy game and over the years when we have been successful with Glenavon it has been really, really difficult when we have gone down there.”

Carrick sit two points behind Glenavon having played an extra game following senior promotion. Rangers boss Niall Currie is also drawing on the past two results as motivation for a forward shift.

“We have been on the back of what I would describe as two really sickening results,” said Currie in the aftermath of defeats to Coleraine and Crusaders. “Against two of the best teams in the country, our performances in both games were simply amazing when you think of what we were up against.

“The biggest disappointment this season is that I feel we should have another four to five points at least.

“But, we are not greedy at this club.

“We have massively over-achieved so far and sit in a great position in the league so far.

“But we know there is a long road ahead - my players have been magnificent so far.

“And we must keep believing that we deserve to be in this league.

“We switched off in the dying minutes against the Crues but the Coleraine result was taken out of our hands to a degree by what we felt was a soft penalty decision.

“I don’t have to worry about getting this group of players lifted again, our changing room is fantastic and we have a great bunch of boys learning on their feet.

“Glenavon have looked back to their very best in the last two games and have all their big players back and playing.

“And, as I’ve said before, that’s huge.

“But we will concentrate on ourselves knowing if the boys can continue the levels of performance they have, we have a chance of causing an upset.

“So that’s the plan.”