Belfast Telegraph

I'll rebuild a team for Portadown fans to be proud of: Currie

Portadown 0-1 Dungannon Swifts

By Stuart McKinley

Niall Currie's frustrations are reaching boiling point as he slammed his Portadown players for lacking the enthusiasm and desire needed to get them out of the relegation mire.

Saturday's 1-0 defeat to Dungannon Swifts - the Ports' third loss in succession - has left them 14 points adrift of Carrick Rangers at the foot of the table, with just 15 to play for.

Currie stopped short of admitting that relegation to the Championship is now certain, but a miracle of epic proportions is now needed for survival.

And it looked like the players already felt that way as they went down to a first-half goal from former Shamrock Park winger Peter McMahon without putting up much of a fight.

Ironically, it was the Ports' handling of McMahon's registration - when he was paid while on amateur forms - that landed them with a 12-point deduction and his strike has now all but condemned them to the drop.

Currie is, however, looking into the future and wants to get his re-building job under way as soon as possible.

"I think a lot of guys are seeing the season out, a lot of guys have their arrangements made for next season and we're not getting a proper shift out of some players," said Currie. "The sad thing is that with the injuries we have, we are asking senior players to be role models for the kids.

"It sucks the life clean out of you sometimes, but there is a massive job ahead and the sooner I can start going and doing what I want, the better.

"We want to get players who are proud to play for this club and that's going to happen."

The Ports hardly registered a shot that troubled Swifts goalkeeper Andy Coleman during the 90 minutes - although Chris McGaughey at the other end was only called into action a couple of times.

"I don't think we're looking even dangerous," added Currie. "We have to be honest. We need endeavour, we need enthusiasm and a desire and, sadly, it was like a pre-season game.

"I thought if we had anything about us we could win the game. We asked for a wee bit of enthusiasm, a wee bit of desire and a wee bit of aggression because we knew that Dungannon didn't want anyone injured or suspended for next Saturday, but I think that sometimes you're flogging a dead horse."

It wasn't all bad for Currie though. He gave fans a glimpse into the future by handing left-back Scott Megaw a debut and he was later joined by Jackson Holmes and Callum Ferris.

"The highlight for me was two 17-year-olds, a 16-year-old and a 15-year-old got good minutes under their belt and young Scott Megaw had a fantastic debut," he said.

"He was composed, defended really well. You can see from the 11 and our bench - I'm sick of talking about the guys that don't play, but that seems to have been the case for the time I have been here, but I will have my day."

PORTADOWN: McGaughey, Shannon, R Larkin, Breen, Megaw, Foley (Ferris, 58 mins), Henderson, Garrett, Mackle, Hazley (Holmes, 58 mins), Soares. Unused subs: C Larkin, Lyttle, Richardson.

DUNGANNON: Coleman, Burns, Armstrong, Brennan, Teggart, McMahon, Wilson, Clucas, Lowe, Glackin, Lavery (Lockhart, 60 mins). Unused subs: Addis, Fitzpatrick, Mitchell, Burke.

Referee: Ross Dunlop (Carrickfergus)

Man of the match: Peter McMahon

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