IRISH CUP: Gary Hamilton says sorry to Glenavon fans after defeat to Loughgall

A dejected Glenavon manager Gary Hamilton
A dejected Glenavon manager Gary Hamilton

Gary Hamilton has apologised to the fans who helped clear snow off the pitch for his side’s performance in the 2-1 Irish Cup defeat to Loughgall.

The Glenavon boss was among a band of volunteers who worked through the night and from early on Saturday morning to ensure the game could go ahead – and he has now called on his players to make up for it with a better performance against Crusaders on Tuesday night.

“We’ve let the fans down who gave up their time to clear this football pitch. A hell of an effort went into it and I feel really bad for them. They’ve made this match happen and we’ve went out and let them down with the result and not giving them a day out in the semi-final that they deserved.

“It shouldn’t happen and there’s no excuses for it. We let them down on the pitch but, as bad as it is, we have to pay credit to Loughgall and not take away from them.”

Talking about the Tuesday night’s game at home to league leaders, Crusaders, he warned his players that standards had to improve.

“The good thing is that they don’t have to wait too long to get that performance out of their system but they need to lift their standards. If they don’t, and if we play like that on Tuesday night against Crusaders then it’ll be six or seven nil.

“There’s no way that Crusaders will get beaten by a team playing like that today and that’s the test for the boys now.”

Reserving praise for goalkeeper Johnny Tuffey and winger Joel Cooper, Hamilton described his side’s first half performance as embarrassing.

“This is a disappointing result. We had an opportunity to get the semi-final of the Irish Cup again and we blew it.

“But again you have to pay credit to Loughgall. This is a cup tie and you have to want it, you have to be up for it but unfortunately for us we weren’t and they were in abundance and deservedly are through to the semi-finals.”