Season-opening derby clash will be about 'who wants it more': Hamilton

Michael Scott


Michael Scott


Thursday 26 August 2021 7:00

Gary Hamilton has called on his Glenavon team to make sure they have the right mentality going into the first game of the season.

The Lurgan Blues make the short trip to Shamrock Park to take on Portadown this Friday night (7.45pm).

Both of these teams met on the opening day of last season, with the Ports running out 4-2 winners.

Former Glenavon striker Stephen Murray scored two and set up two others on that occasion, with Peter Campbell and James Singleton replying for the Blues.

Glenavon have strengthened in pre-season, bringing in former Linfield trio Andy Waterworth, Mark Stafford and Mark Haughey, as well as signing Danny Wallace from Warrenpoint. Goalkeeper Declan Brown has also signed from Queen's.

Hamilton, who was speaking to Glenavon Media's new 'The Mourneview Monthly' YouTube show, hopes that they can develop the winning mentality in their dressing room.

He admitted: “We let ourselves down in the first match last season”.

Of the Portadown game he added, “It's not only a derby game, but it's the first game of the season where everybody raises their game.

“When you look at the fixtures you always want a Linfield or a Larne first because you always see a shock result on that first weekend.

“Last year we lost to Portadown and deservedly so. Hopefully the boys have learned from that. With the boys that we have brought we know that we can't play that way and expect to get results.

Hopefully they go in with the right mentality, the right attitude, the right hunger and desire that you need in derby games.

“I remember when I took over we were down near the bottom of the league and we got results against Portadown when they were up near the top. Sometimes it's not about football all the time, it's about who wants it more.”

Press play to watch 'The Mourneview Monthly', with Hamilton's interview beginning at 30.17, while Your Lurgan's 'Five Things You Need To Know' feature returns on Friday morning.

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