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Portadown 0-1 Coleraine: I pleaded with Pat McGibbon not to quit crisis-hit Portadown, says Vinny Arkins

By Stuart McKinley

Published 17/10/2016

Backlash: Portadown officials were targets of verbal abuse from supporters
Backlash: Portadown officials were targets of verbal abuse from supporters
Portadown caretaker manager Vinny Arkins during Saturday's match at Shamrock Park

Vinny Arkins has revealed that he tried to talk Pat McGibbon out of quitting as manager of troubled Portadown.

Legendary striker Arkins is now urging those in charge at Shamrock Park to tackle a growing number of issues before the players gather for training tomorrow night as the crisis around the club deepens.

McGibbon's resignation came in the wake of the Irish Football Association Appeals Board revealing the full details of why they rejected the Ports' attempt to have a 12-point deduction overturned.

Disgruntled fans turned on the club's board during Saturday's 1-0 defeat to Coleraine, with Brad Lyons getting the winner midway through the first half.

A section of the support chanted 'sack the board', 'you're not fit to run our club' and then targeted treasurer Trevor Marshall, calling on him to 'get out of our club'. Chairman Roy McMahon was also confronted by a fan in front of the players tunnel at the end of the game before an angry mob gathered in front of the stand.

Arkins was thrust into the breach to take charge of the team for Saturday's Danske Bank Premiership clash with the Bannsiders after McGibbon, who succeeded Ronnie McFall after he brought his 29-year reign to an end, stepped down on Friday, less than six months after agreeing a two-year contract.

"I spent a few hours on Friday trying to speak to Pat and convince him otherwise because he is one of the good guys and it's hard to get hold of guys that are good genuine, honest people that want to do a straight job," said Arkins.

"I did my best with him but, unfortunately, I think that Pat had it in his head for the past few days.

"I said to leave it until after Saturday, but he said to me after the issues that I have had they haven't really been clarified and I can't see myself going forward.

"It's disappointing that it's come to this.

"There are a lot of issues that need to be cleared up between now and Tuesday, not just off the pitch, but among the players as well."

Beyond that, however, Arkins, who returned to Shamrock Park in March as assistant to McGibbon, doesn't even know if he will have a role to play.

"I haven't a clue what the situation will be come the Ballinamallard game next Saturday," he said.

"After Tuesday the club will have to reflect on things."

PORTADOWN: McGaughey, Carson, Breen, Oman, Rodgers (Rooney, 72 mins), Hughes, Henderson (Wilson, 85 mins), Garrett, Parker, Kirwan (Ferris, 78 mins), Haire. Unused subs: Larkin, Byrne.

COLERAINE: Johns, Mullan, McGonaghie, Douglas, Brown, Kee, McCaffery (Higgins, 85 mins), Parkhill, Lyons (Allan, 64 mins) McCauley, McGonigle. Unused subs: Ogilby, Morrow, Whiteside.

Referee: Andrew Davey (Bangor)

Man of the match: Brad Lyons

Match rating: 6/10

Belfast Telegraph

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