Manager’s programme notes v Glenavon
Posted : 1st October 2019
Today we will face another difficult challenge from a Glenavon team that will come here full of belief that they can achieve another positive result at our expense.
Glenavon showed in last week’s 3-1 home win against Ballymena United what a good team they are and I know we will have to be on top of our game today, if we are to collect the maximum points we need, to help us continue to climb the league table.
I have been delighted with our league wins - 1-0 against Glentoran and 3-0 against Carrick Rangers. Our players showed patience and resilience in both games and deserved to come way with hard earned victories on both occasions.
I was also delighted with the outcome in the 5-4 win in the League cup away to Ballinamallard. Our hosts played exceptionally well on the night and we were a minute away from elimination from the cup when Daniel Reynolds popped up with a vital equaliser to take the tie to extra time. The players showed the required mental toughness to see us through to the next round and another tricky tie away to Dungannon Swifts on October 8.
We were without Jamie Mulgrew, Chris Casement, Daniel Kearns, Jordan Stewart and Josh Robinson, because of injury for Monday’s game away to Carrick Rangers.
We are hopeful that Jamie will be back for today’s game and our medical team are working hard to get the others back in the squad as soon as possible.
On a more positive note, we were hoping to have Mark Haughey back in action for part of the midweek Swifts’ game against Carrick Rangers reserves and hopefully, he came through the first stage of his return to action successfully, after a long and frustrating spell out due to injury.
Injuries to key players provide opportunities to others and we had a number of young players on the bench for the midweek Carrick game - Trai Hume, Daniel Reynolds, Matthew Shevlin and Ross Larkin. This shows the strength in depth and exciting young talent we have available in our squad.
Congratulations to Jordan Stewart and Kirk Millar who have earned and agreed new contract extensions to take effect upon the expiry of their existing contracts at the end of the season. They are key players in our squad and will make a significant contribution to our efforts in the coming seasons.
Congratulations to Niall Quinn who made his 250th appearance for this club in the recent ‘Big Two’ Derby. He is a reliable and important player who has a bright future and hopefully, many more appearances ahead of him in the royal blue jersey.
Thank you to the supporters who travelled to our recent away games in Ballinamallard and Carrick and I’d love to see the same number of home supporters here today, as were here for the recent ‘Big Two’ Derby. The late Kirk Millar winner sent them all home happy that day and we will be doing all in our power today to send our supporters home happy again