Belfast Telegraph

Only way is up for Portadown

By Stuart McKinley

Ronnie McFall is predicting a bright future for Portadown — but the Shamrock Park boss is only interested in the present.

And so focused is McFall on the here and now he is refusing to do the mathematics with regards to the Ports’ games in hand and where a full haul of points could take them.

It’s a plan that is most likely devised to keep the pressure off his players, but their desire to finish in the top half of the Carling Premiership is sure to be as strong as the manager’s — even if he is being quiet about it.

And with the seventh placed Ports being just six points behind Crusaders and Dungannon Swifts and having two games in hand, the top six is there to be shot at.

“Everyone is talking about the top six, but all we’re interested in is getting as many points as possible over the next few weeks and seeing where that takes us,” said McFall, ahead of tonight’s mid-Ulster derby clash with Glenavon at Mourneview Park.

“We can’t look at next week’s game with Linfield because we have this one to win first.”

The Ports are one of the league’s form teams since a 2-0 win over Glenavon in mid-October.

Since then they have lost just twice and it is that form — which includes wins over Cliftonville and Glentoran in their last two outings — which has put the Ports on-course to make the cut when it comes in less than a month.

“Derby games are always tense, but the main thing is that you have got to perform,” said McFall.

“We’re playing with confidence at the minute and hopefully we can keep riding on that and keep our run going.

“We haven’t spoken about the top six, we’re just concentrating on trying to win matches.”

The Ports beat the Glens on Tuesday with more than half a team of players who have come through the ranks at Shamrock Park and McFall believes that bodes well for the club.

“We’ve quite a few players in the squad who have been with the club since they were 14 or 15-years-old. They know they’ll get their chance and while they’ve waited a while, they are now establishing themselves,” he said.

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