Belfast Telegraph

Friday 26 December 2014

Ports will stir up title mix, warns Redman

Ross Redman last night warned the four Belfast clubs that they won’t get past Portadown easily in their battle for silverware.

Instead the left-back is determined that the Shamrock Park men will achieve their targets, by claiming a top six finish in the league and reaching at least the semi-finals of the Irish Cup by upsetting Cliftonville, Crusaders, Glentoran and Linfield.

The Ports begin a sequence of five massive matches in a fortnight when they face Cliftonville at Shamrock Park this afternoon — when they will be out to repeat last Saturday’s 2-1 Irish Cup win over the north Belfast side.

Glentoran head up the M1 on Tuesday night before Ronnie McFall’s men go on the road, with a league derby against Glenavon, and a visit to Linfield before taking on the Crues in the quarter-finals of the Irish Cup two weeks today.

“We want to make the top six and it would be a big boost for us after coming back into the Premiership,” said Redman.

“We know that we’ve a tough run of matches coming up and with the injuries we’ve picked up that’s going to make things harder.

“The way things have gone in the league there are four or fives teams in there who could win it and all the teams can beat anyone else on their day.

“We’ve beaten Cliftonville, Linfield and Crusaders already this season and although that won’t mean anything in terms of the matches coming up it will at least give us the belief that we can do it again.

“We’re pushing for the top six, it’s where we want to be because everyone, the players and the fans, wants to be involved in the big games at the end of the season, whereas if you finish seventh or eighth you’re playing for nothing after the split.

“We’ll be fighting all the way to make sure that doesn’t happen.”

With the Ports facing the three teams who currently occupy the top three places in the league over the next week and a half, they could well have an impact on the title race — even though they are a long way from being involved in it.

“If we hadn’t got off to such a bad start then you never know what could have happened,” said Redman.

“We went on a good run, but all the postponements over Christmas didn’t help us and we’re only getting back into things now.

“The matches are coming thick and fast and the next couple of weeks will tell a tale in terms of our season.”

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