McAllister on mission to repay Currie and inspire Ports
Portadown striker Mark McAllister is adjusting to a very different type of pressure in his career. In his Linfield days, the heat was on McAllister and his team-mates to deliver trophies.
But now all his energy is focused on helping the Ports stay in the top flight.
On five points after a pre-season deduction, nine adrift of second from bottom Carrick Rangers, Niall Currie's side remain in an uphill fight but it's one which McAllister is hungry to sink his teeth into.
He said: "This is a different kind of pressure than what I was used to at Linfield.
"But I must say, I prefer the pressure at the other end of the table. The expectation levels at Windsor Park always brought their own pressure.
"Portadown are a big club in a bad situation. Although the odds are stacked against us, the players are confident of digging the club out of the situation we are in."
McAllister has hailed the influence of manager Currie.
Having been previously frozen out by Pat McGibbon and then Vinny Arkins, the striker was reinstated to the first-team squad when the new boss took over.
"Niall is experienced and he knows the league," added McAllister. "He has really lit up the place. He's a straight talker - and that's what I like about him. If you're not performing, he'll let you know about it.
"I'm delighted to be back and I'm grateful to Niall for giving me an opportunity.
"He brought me straight back into the squad when he took over. Personally, I don't think I should have been away, but that was out of my hands.
"I can't speak highly enough of Niall and I am certainly determined to repay the faith he has shown in me. The boss has been active in the transfer market, bringing in players, a mix of youth and experience, to boost the squad. We'll need everyone pulling together to get out of our predicament."
The Ports have released Alan Byrne, Aaron Haire, Matty Parker and Sammy Simpson.