Gary Hamilton’s derby duty message to Glenavon players after ‘unacceptable’ run

Glenavon boss Gary Hamilton rejected revenge as any future motivation for his players in the aftermath of Saturday’s demoralising 4-1 reverse - but offered a decisive reminder to his squad of derby duty.

Monday, 8th March 2021, 5:49 pm

The Lurgan Blues lost out by 4-2 in October’s Mourneview Park meeting and conceded four for a second time in the weekend clash with Portadown on an afternoon described by Hamilton as “embarrassing”.

A third showdown between the clubs is scheduled for tomorrow back at Shamrock Park.

“We all know for the fans and directors these derby games are the biggest of the season so for the players to let them down in the manner they have over the past two meetings is unacceptable,” said Hamilton. “They need to go home and have a long, hard look at themselves as they must do better in derby games.

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Glenavon manager Gary Hamilton at Shamrock Park on Saturday. Pic by Pacemaker.

“Also, over the season, you look at our results against Carrick Rangers, Dungannon Swifts and Portadown as the clubs in the bottom three and results like that are the difference between the top half of the table or our position now.

“That was Portadown’s third win of the season today, with two against us.

“It’s never about revenge, no matter who we face it’s about winning games of football.

“The Portadown players are entitled to laugh today and well within their rights but if I was a Glenavon player out on that pitch I would be looking to make amends for sure...I’m far from happy and they’ve been told in no uncertain terms.

“Our last two performances have not been good enough and every game after a defeat is about reacting.

“It was embarrassing...that’s two games now against our rivals this season and we’ve lost both, conceded four goals each time and certainly not competed in any match.”

Hamilton singled out shot-stopper Craig Hyland for special praise despite Portadown finding the net on four occasions off Lee Bonis, Sam Warde, Ben Guy and Chris Lavery.

Sean Ward’s goal for Glenavon served only to reduce the margin of misery on a day in which problems increased for Glenavon at 1-0 with a red card for Lee McNulty and penalty due to handball.

“Only for Craig it could have been five, six or seven goals against us,” said Hamilton. ““We started well over the first 10 minutes then suddenly stopped doing the good things and mistakes started to spread.

“We conceded a really poor goal when Portadown hit us on the counter-attack, got a corner-kick and Lee Bonis scores.

“We had been saying for the previous set-pieces that we were not tight enough on Lee and we were miles away from him for the goal.

“We switched off in the box and I cannot fathom how a player is so free in the box when players are told to mark.

“Then it becomes 2-0 and mission impossible.

“Lee is adamant his arms were inside his body and he couldn’t get out of the way of the shot.

“To go 2-0 down with 10 men in a derby it’s difficult to get back in and the second half was an onslaught.

“We got a goal back against the run of play for 3-1 and people may be thinking there’s a chance but, for me, there was no way back in today as we didn’t deserve it or play well enough.”


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