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Portadown's Pat McGibbon will need time: Paul Kirk

By Graham Luney

Published 22/09/2016

Ports' manager Pat McGibbon
Ports' manager Pat McGibbon

After masterminding Rathfriland Rangers' stunning 2-1 victory over Portadown in the Mid-Ulster Cup on Tuesday night, Paul Kirk backed Pat McGibbon to steady the Shamrock Park ship but he insists the former Wigan defender needs time to get the Ports firing again.

The Ports are appealing a 12 points deduction for a player registration breach and they face a survival fight with a new look team winning only two of their seven Premiership games this campaign.

And their season hit a fresh low this week when the Northern Amateur League Premier Division side celebrated the greatest result in their history at Shamrock Park.

Rathriland boss Kirk said the result was "no fluke" and he believes McGibbon can transform the Ports' fortunes but it "will not happen overnight".

Kirk, whose side now travel to Warrenpoint Town in the last eight on October 25, added: "It's wonderful to play a part in the club's greatest ever result. A few Portadown fans admitted we were in control of the game and deserved our victory.

"It was no fluke and it was as good a performance from the boys since I joined from Lisburn Rangers at the start of the season.

"Pat McGibbon is someone who I have a lot of time for while his assistant Vinny Arkins is a Portadown legend. They are going through a rough time and Pat has had to deal with a lot on and off the pitch.

"It hasn't been easy for him and I wish him success but he needs time to get it right. A few clubs in the Irish League are going through difficult spells and it's also sad to see Glentoran in their current state.

"I don't understand how the Glens can keep getting it wrong but they have to do things differently."

There was better news for Portadown's mid-Ulster rivals Glenavon who overcame Newry City 4-0 with Pat McCourt netting his first goal for the club.

Belfast Telegraph

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