IRISH LEAGUE: Gary Hamilton ready for ‘massive test’ against league leaders Ards

Glenavon boss Gary Hamilton

Glenavon boss Gary Hamilton

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Gary Hamilton has demanded a backlash from Glenavon following last week’s sorry malaise against Linfield.

The Lurgan Blues were humbled 4-0 at Windsor Park – a scoreline that flattered Hamilton’s players.

On Friday night they entertain newly-promoted Ards, the side currently riding high at the top of the Danske Bank Premiership.

“Ards are top of the league. They are doing fantastic this season,” Hamilton said.

“It has been a great start for them. Winning titles in the lower leagues breeds confidence. Ballinamallard came up and did well in their first year in the Premiership. And Ards are doing well.

“When you are confident you get victories. They won 4-3 against Ballymena last week, and credit to them.

“We know it will be a difficult game, especially as they are flying high and we are coming off the back of a heavy defeat. We lost 4-0 but it could have been eight or 10.

“It will be a good test and hopefully our boys will be up for it. More than they were against Linfield.”

Reflecting on last week’s defeat against the Blues, Hamilton added: “The disappointing thing is that some players have been given opportunities in the team, and they haven’t taken them.

“We have injuries and that opens doors for other players. But they need to step up to the plate if they want to keep their shirt. If we win and go on a run, then players will keep the shirt.”