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Ports hitman McAllister is making his mark at other end of table

By Stuart McKinley

Mark McAllister has claimed that the pressure of battling relegation with a 12-point penalty is much greater than what he experienced when winning three successive doubles with an outstanding Linfield side.

The striker has been thrust back into Portadown's fight to stay in the Premiership by new manager Niall Currie and although he and his team mates are facing an uphill fight, McAllister is just glad to be back on the pitch after being frozen out by former boss Pat McGibbon.

And having been forced to spend two and a half months training with the under-19s he is up for the fight, with Currie lining up reinforcements come January - but not in time for Monday's Boxing Day clash with Glenavon at Shamrock Park.

"I'm excited," said McAllister. I think it's a big challenge for everybody.

"I've never been in this position before and it's not one I want to be in.

"It is what it is and I am looking forward to having a team that can push and you never know.

"It's a different type of pressure.

"At Linfield it was more if you don't win, you don't play well you're not in the team. If you don't win a league, you don't win a cup you're gone. I was lucky to win three doubles in a row and I think now looking back Linfield fans appreciate it more.

"Here there's a lot more pressure in terms of getting points. This is a different situation and it's a challenge. Hopefully we can all dig in and get ourselves out of it."

The Ports dragged themselves out of negative points last weekend after beating Dungannon Swifts 2-0.

McAllister made a significant impact on his first appearance at Shamrock Park since late September - scoring one and providing a great assist for Stephen Hughes - and he now has renewed hope that the Ports can beat the odds and stay up.

"We're 10 points behind with 17 games to go and that's a lot of points still to play for," said McAllister.

"I think in this league a lot of teams can beat each other and if we do happen to go on a wee run and win two or three on the bounce it will help us.

"If we get into the split and are at least close it'll be great."

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