Belfast Telegraph

New boss Currie urges Portadown to build on momentum

By Stuart McKinley

Niall Currie has warned his Portadown players that now is not the time to let standards slip as they face the most crucial game of his short reign. The Ports have responded to the appointment of the new boss with two outstanding performances in their last two home games which brought about a win against Dungannon Swifts before they were seconds away from a Boxing Day derby victory over Glenavon.

Those four points - which could turn into six after the Lurgan Blues apparently played David Elebert in that game when his name appeared on an Irish FA suspensions list - have moved the Shamnrock Park outfit to within 12 points of Ballinamallard United at the bottom of the Danske Bank Premiership table, and if they can cut that to nine with victory at Ferney Park tonight it will raise hopes that Currie can pull off an unlikely escape from relegation.

The boss, however, is adamant that the result will depend on his players maintaining their recent level of performance.

"We were down after conceding the late equaliser against Glenavon, but we've got to keep things positive - and that includes me - and we will do that," said Currie. "It gives the boys a foundation and there is a good foundation there.

"There has been good application, they have been knocking the door and we've got to go to Ballinamallard now with the same application - that's the key to it.

"If we go there with the same application as we have in the last couple of games we'll be ok.

"If we can get a win on Friday night it puts a wee bit of pressure on the teams above us."

The Ports have also confirmed that Adam Rodgers, Ben Murdock and Matthew Rooney have left the club.

Meanwhile, while the Irish FA will look at the Elebert case, another possible eligibility issue involving Portadown has flared up.

It has been claimed that a Portadown player who picked up a four-match suspension after a dismissal in an under-17 game played for the Reserves and was a substitute against Glenavon on Boxing Day despite not serving the ban in full.

The question was raised on social media yesterday.

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