Irish Premiership: Midweek reserves game helps Mitchell to brace

Glenavon manager Gary Hamilton has revealed that a midweek run-out for the reserves helped Andy Mitchell score two goals in Saturday's victory over Warrenpoint Town.

Speaking on BBC Sport NI's The Irish League Show, Hamilton explained that the striker needed extra game time.

Mitchell scored two and created two as Glenavon defeated 'Point 4-2 at the weekend.

"He (Mitchell) was top quality," Hamilton said.

"He missed a lot of pre-season as he is a schoolteacher and can only go away in July, meaning he missed the European games and a few training sessions.

"He isn't where he should be at the minute (in terms of fitness) so I asked him to play 45 minutes for the reserves during the week to get an extra few kilometres under his belt.

"He then came out on Saturday and looked more like the Mitchell that we knew from last season."

Inexperience helps explain lack of home wins

Hamilton also spoke about Glenavon's indifferent home form in the league, saying that the pressure from the Mourneview Park fans can be difficult for his young squad to handle.

The Lurgan Blues have only lost once away from home in the Irish Premiership in 10 matches, but have not recorded a home victory since Boxing Day in 2017.

"It's really difficult (to work out)," the former Northern Ireland international added.

"The only thing I can put my finger on is that we have a young and inexperienced squad, and no matter what club in the world it is, home fans are more difficult to work with than away fans.

"We have done really well in the last four or five years, but we don't have too many players with a lot of experience of coping with the pressure of a home crowd."

Hamilton recalled an anecdote from personal experience to illustrate his point.

"There was one week I was suspended and sitting in the stand when, after just 30 seconds into the match, one of our fans shouted 'when are we going to start Glenavon?'

"And the match was only 30 seconds old!

"It's water off a duck's back for the more experienced players, but I think the younger players struggle to deal with it."

Glenavon's next match is a trip to newly-promoted Newry City on 17 August.

Watch The Irish League Show on BBC Sport Online every week from Sunday evenings.

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