Belfast Telegraph

Right attitude will see Portadown bounce back: Neil McCafferty

By Stuart McKinley

Neil McCafferty is backing Portadown to fire their way back into the title race – but only if their attitude is right.

The Shamrock Park men led the way just two months ago after winning five and losing just one of their first 10 matches of the season.

They will go into battle with Glentoran in front of the Sky Sports cameras tonight (7.45pm) in fifth place though after claiming just seven points from their last seven games – including a televised derby defeat to Glenavon in mid-October.

"I really don't know what has gone wrong because the team itself hasn't changed," said Ports' midfielder McCafferty.

"We should have been doing a lot better than we have. The bigger games seem to look after themselves, but it's the matches that we are expected to win that have been the problem.

"We beat Glentoran earlier in the season, we have taken four points out of a possible six against Cliftonville, we drew with Linfield and we only lost 1-0 to Crusaders in a 50-50 game.

"We've lost to Ballymena, Ards, Ballinamallard and Glenavon and we should have done better.

"I just think that our concentration and our attitudes in those games weren't the same as in the others and you can't afford to be like that in this league.

"We have the team to mount a challenge, it's about getting everything else right and if we can do that then at the very least we'll have a say in what happens."

In contrast to the Ports, Glentoran are on an unbeaten run that takes them back to their defeat at Shamrock Park back in late September. They have also scored 17 goals in that time, not bad for a team who only scored 10 in their first nine games of the season – and that included five in one game against Ards.

McCafferty, however, doesn't see a big difference between the teams.

"I think ourselves and Glentoran are on a level," said McCafferty, who misses tonight's game through suspension.

"Their squad is similar to ours in that it's small, but has plenty of talent.

"They may be on a good run, but in these Sky games all that goes out the window.

"I don't know if it's nerves because players aren't used to being on television, but they are always entertaining and there are lots of goals too."

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