Tennent’s Irish Cup: Glenavon v Rosemount Rec

Glenavon manager Gary Hamilton.
Glenavon manager Gary Hamilton.

Gary Hamilton will wipe the slate clean in pursuit of his third Irish Cup prize as Glenavon manager following a New Year’s Day defeat described as “abysmal”.

Hamilton, who lifted the title in 2014 and 2016 with his boyhood club, will prepare for the visit of Rosemount Rec tomorrow by moving on from the pain of Mourneview Park misery in a 3-1 reverse to Warrenpoint Town.

However, Hamilton is refusing to waste time over-analysing a past league defeat in the context of moving forward across the cup.

“I thought it was really poor and can take nothing away from an excellent Warrenpoint Town side,” said Hamilton. “I’ve been here over seven years and it was probably the most embarrassed I’ve been over 45 minutes of football, with the second half abysmal.

“We threw in the towel after conceding the second goal, we didn’t look hungry or close the ball.

“It is nothing else but mentality, attitude and desire.

“Saturday in the Irish Cup is a new match, it’s a big game but this result does not affect the approach planned for the tie,” he added.

“We cannot influence the mentality once the players cross the white line, although they’ve been a great bunch and this was the first day I felt we threw in the towel.

“Over the past few performances against Institute and Dungannon Swifts we probably deserved to win but now, over three games against sides in the bottom six, we’ve picked up two points from nine.

“That’s not acceptable and off the back of a Linfield draw and Coleraine home win you wonder do players come into those games thinking it is just a matter of turning up.

“But I still have faith in the players and it’s one very disappointing performance for the first time this year, so we aim to bounce back with a positive result in the Irish Cup.”

The Glenavon boss’ January focus will also turn to the transfer market - as well as league and cup tests - in the aftermath of Ben Doherty’s departure and Mark Sykes’ move to Oxford United.

Hamilton has confirmed a decision to bring back both Jack O’Mahony and Robbie Norton from loan deals with, respectively, Harland and Wolff Welders and Warrenpoint Town.

“We knew coming into this season we were short in numbers so needed to keep everyone fit and clear of suspension to mount any challenge, with Europe the realistic goal,” he said.

“The decision to loan out Jack and Robbie offered both players gametime and can now activate the clause to bring back the latter certainly and probably the former to help our numbers.

“Hopefully they can come back to add more competition and quality to the squad.”

Meanwhile, Rosemount Rec captain Ryan Stewart says the challenge of facing Glenavon is exactly what the club wanted.

“When you get to this stage of the competition you want a big club, and we’ve got that,” he said.

“It will be great t go and challenge ourselves against one of the top clubs in the country.

“Last year was our first year in the Irish Cup, but this year we’ve been punching well above our weight.

“We’ve knocked out the likes of Annagh United and Islandmagee, all teams well above us.

“And we have deserved to beat them to be honest.

“So to come from nothing to get this opportunity is massive for the community and the village.

“We’ll all be looking for a fairy-tale and the romance of the cup when we go there.”