McFall taking safety first approach
Ronnie McFall will serve the first of a three-match touchline ban tonight, despite not being officially notified by the Irish FA.
The Portadown manager will take a seat in the Shamrock Park directors box after being sent to the stand at half-time in a game against Glentoran at the Oval a couple of weeks, but he still doesn’t know why referee David Malcolm banished him from the dugout.
Details of McFall’s suspension were circulated to the media last Friday, but communication hasn’t reached the club, although the postal strike which took place at the end of last week may be the cause.
“I haven’t got a letter from the IFA, I’ve just seen the details of the suspension on their website,” said McFall, whose team faces Newry City this evening.
“I wasn’t told why I was being sent-off at the Oval. All David Malcolm said to me was ‘don’t come out for the second-half’ as we walked off at half-time.”
McFall had his players in for a training session last night and will hand responsibility for on-field matters over to Kieran Harding and Trevor Williamson this evening and on Saturday when Crusaders visit Shamrock Park in the Co-operative Insurance Cup.
“We prepare thoroughly for every game and that has been done for the Newry match,” said McFall.
“Sometimes you get a better view of things from the stand, seeing things from a different angle, so it won’t be a major difference not being on the touchline.”
McFall resisted the temptation to bring Kevin Braniff and Wesley Boyle straight back into the team for Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Institute after they had served suspensions.
Instead he kept the same team that started the 2-0 win over Glenavon week before, but the pair are in contention to start tonight with Richard Clarke a doubt.