Belfast Telegraph

It's promotion or nothing for ambitious Ports, insists Tipton

Matthew Tipton has admitted that there are only two possible outcomes for his Portadown team this season - and one of those isn't entering his thinking
Matthew Tipton has admitted that there are only two possible outcomes for his Portadown team this season - and one of those isn't entering his thinking

By Stuart McKinley

Matthew Tipton has admitted that there are only two possible outcomes for his Portadown team this season - and one of those isn't entering his thinking.

For the Shamrock Park boss it's simple.

Black and white. Promotion or stagnation.

And, he admits, success or failure.

The Ports head to Loughgall today to kick off their attempt to regain Premiership status at the third attempt - the second for Tipton who was appointed in the spring of 2018 - and getting back among the top clubs is all that is on his mind.

"It's promotion or nothing. I said that last year, we didn't get promotion and that goes down as a failure in my eyes," said Tipton.

"It's pretty much black and white.

"Promotion is the aim and that's what has to happen.

"The good thing was that there were positives from the season, albeit individual players who we brought through and did well.

"Now we're just looking for that to gel a bit more.

"I'm not really thinking about what Portadown spending a fourth season in the Championship might look like.

"I'm not thinking negatively.

"There's no benefit to us in that.

"We're going out to get promotion and if we don't I won't have to worry about it because I won't be in a job."

Tipton will take a relatively new-look Ports side to Lakeview Park and aside from the new signings made in the summer he is expecting more from the young players who have been blooded over the last couple of years as they seek to finally unlock the door back to the top flight after the disappointment of last season ending in play-off defeat to Carrick Rangers.

"We've brought in six or seven players and we're pleased with what we've got, added to the young lads who did well for us last year being a year older, a year stronger and a year wiser in the Championship," said Tipton.

Newly promoted Queen's University travel to Ballyclare Comrades and last season's Irish Cup finalists Ballinamallard United host Knockbreda at Ferney Park on the opening day.

Today's Bluefin Sport Championship fixtures (3pm): Ballinamallard United v Knockbreda, Ballyclare Comrades v Queen's University, Dundela v Dergview, H&W Welders v Newry City, Loughgall v Portadown, PSNI v Ards.

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