Belfast Telegraph

Battle of Portadown

By Graham Luney

Michael Carvill is shocked by Portadown’s stuttering start to the season — and he hopes it continues tomorrow.

The Blues were taught a lesson by the Ports in the Co-operative Insurance Cup last season but their return to the top flight has not gone swimmingly.

One win in seven games is not what manager Ronnie McFall ordered and it certainly wasn’t what the rest of the league expected.

The mid-Ulster side is packed with quality talent but a 4-1 defeat at home to Dungannon Swifts has edged fingers closer to panic buttons at Shamrock Park.

However, what better game for the Ports to get their season back on track than a trip to Windsor Park tomorrow.

“We have the Ports tomorrow and Dungannon on Tuesday so it is a crucial time for us,” said Carvill. “As we lost the league by a point last season we have to regard every point as vital.

“Everyone knows how strong Portadown are and nobody better than ourselves after they knocked us out of theLeague Cup. That’s why I am surprised they haven’t made a better start but they are a team that can never be underestimated.

“They won home and away against us and we can all remember how well they played. I think everyone in the league recognises how formidable they can be.”

Carvill is in a hot goalscoring streak after netting a brace in the 3-0 win at home to Newry City.

It’s vital that Windsor Park becomes a lion’s den again for visiting teams if the Blues want to maintain a title challenge.

There is more pressure on the shoulders of Carvill and co. to find the net after Glenn Ferguson’s exit but it is a challenge he is relishing.

“I’ve five goals so far and I’m feeling confident,” added Carvill.

“When you are scoring goals you want to keep playing and I had a run out for the Under-21s on Tuesday.

“I can’t wait to get out again and keep scoring. You want the games to come thick and fast. We have played well in our last two games at home and hopefully that can continue.

“I think we are getting better but we are nowhere near the finished article. There is a lot more to come from this team and at this stage of the season it is all about staying near the top.

“I think it is great that a team like Dungannon Swifts are leading the way as it adds a little extra spice to the league.

“There is a big squad at Linfield now and every player knows that if they do not perform they will find themselves out of the team. Competition for places is fierce but hopefully I can keep my place in the team.”

Belfast Telegraph


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