Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 30 August 2014

David Jeffrey backs Portadown manager Ronnie McFall

Ronnie McFall says he is not prepared to walk away from Portadown

David Jeffrey says he hopes peace will return to Portadown and that Ronnie McFall can continue his mission to bring the Gibson Cup back to Mid-Ulster.

The Portadown manager says he isn't prepared to walk away from the club even though a power struggle continues to rage in the boardroom.

Behind every good manager is a supportive chairman and board of directors, but the Irish League's longest-serving boss is acting alone at the moment.

There is no chairman or properly functioning board at the Ports and a door has opened for former chairman Roy McMahon to return to the helm following the resignation of director Yalcin Cubuk.

McFall, related to Cubuk through marriage, had given his backing to the Turkish businessman, but although disappointed that fans and shareholders have not embraced his investment plans, the Ports supremo is staying in the hot seat he stepped into in 1986.

Linfield boss Jeffrey is a good pal of the veteran boss and knowing how important the relationship is between a manager and his chairman and board, he is following developments closely.

“I would really like to see the situation at Portadown resolved as soon as possible and that the outcome is beneficial to the club and in its best interests,” said Jeffrey.

“Portadown and big Ronnie broke the Big Two dominance by winning the league title and after everything he has achieved with the club and the long, loyal service devoted to the cause, it would have been a crying shame if there had been a parting of the ways in these circumstances.

“Few of us are aware of the full facts surrounding what is happening but we hope a strong and vibrant Portadown comes out of it and that Ronnie and the Portadown fans can look forward to more success in the future.”

Linfield have made it two wins out of two in the Carling Premiership and Jeffrey has described the start of their title defence as “satisfactory”.

The Blues travel to Dungannon Swifts tomorrow keen to maintain their maximum points haul ahead of next week's first Big Two showdown of the season.

Even though sharp shooters Peter Thompson, Mark McAllister and Rory Patterson have yet to find their shooting boots, Jeffrey's

midfielders have been firing on all cylinders and although Philip Lowry chipped in with four goals against Donegal Celtic last weekend, Jamie Mulgrew produced another masterclass.

If the Northern Ireland international had secured full-time football in America over the summer his loss would have hit the Blues hard.

“Jamie is an integral part of the squad and he has always been a significant player for us,” added Jeffrey.

“Nothing has changed in that sense and while we were patient with him over the summer and respected his desire to go into full-time football, Jamie has helped bring so much success to the club and hopefully that continues.”

Even though the Blues secured a fifth double in six seasons earlier this year, Linfield were slow out of the blocks last August.

Twelve months ago Jeffrey’s men were five points adrift of Glentoran after being held 0-0 by Ballymena United and losing 2-1 at Dungannon.

“This time last year we had only one point so that’s an improvement,” added Jeffrey. “It’s always important to get the points on the board but there are huge tests ahead.

“I’m thrilled that the midfielders are chipping in with goals and long may that continue.”

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