Jeff Hughes pleased with progress Larne are making this season

Larne captain Jeff Hughes.  Mandatory Credit : Stephen Hamilton/Inpho
Larne captain Jeff Hughes. Mandatory Credit : Stephen Hamilton/Inpho

Jeff Hughes says the fact Larne came away from recent draws with Crusaders and Coleraine shows the progress being made at the club.

The Inver Park outfit could have taken six points from the two games, but Hughes this season will be a learning curve for the team.

“We’ve shown that we can match the likes of Coleraine and Crusaders when we went there and managed to pick up a draw, but we came away from both a little disappointed,” he said.

“I think that shows how we’ve come along and the progress we are making.

“If you want to do anything in this league you have to match the top teams.

“Coleraine are obviously well established, we’re still learning the ropes.

“We’ve had a few lessons this season, which I think we’ve bounced back from really well.

“We are adding a few different strings to our bow and I think we’re getting there.

“Consistency is the main thing. When we played Dungannon they just dropped right off, which was a different scenario for us to deal with.

“We’re learning to adjust our game depending who we are playing and how the game is going.

“But it is all a learning curve for us and hopefully we can keep it going.

“You know what football is like though.

“When we came off the back of the good result against the Crues and you don’t win the next game 5-0 then everyone’s asking ‘what’s went wrong?’ when nothing has went wrong.

“There is a lot of expectation, but it is a good thing.”

There will be a lot of expectation on Larne again this evening when they welcome Glenavon to Inver Park as Gary Hamilton’s men will still be trying to get last week’s drubbing at Linfield out of their system.

Hughes though says you cannot afford to take anything for granted in the Irish League.

“Glenavon are a very good footballing team so hopefully it will be a good game for the neutral.

“Last time out at home against Dungannon it finished 0-0 and people were a bit down because they thought we should have walked the game.

I don’t think anyone has the right to beat anyone in the Irish League.

“Even the fans are learning that it doesn’t always go the way you think it’s supposed to.

“The whole town is getting behind us though and we’re getting there.

“From the boss right down to us everyone is pulling in the same direction.

“There’s never any fingers pointed.

“We’re looked after really well here at Larne, we just have to keep progressing and building as a club.”

The Lurgan Blues are struggling to find their form with only two league wins to date.

Boss Gary Hamilton is quick to point out that what they achieved in previous seasons will count for nothing this time out.

“We’ve been good over the last few seasons and we have kept the same squad but the difficulty for us is everybody else has improved,” he said.

“There are a lot of good sides in the league and we don’t have any divine right, nor has anyone else, of being in a better position.

“We have to work hard, earn that right, and try and get ourselves back to where we were.”