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Matthew Tipton challenges Portadown to match performance every week after Coleraine draw

Coleraine 1 Portadown 1

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Matthew Tipton

Matthew Tipton

�INPHO/Matt Mackey

Matthew Tipton

Portadown boss Matthew Tipton insists he won't let his players rest on their laurels after it was confirmed that there will be no relegation from the Danske Bank Premiership this season.

Tipton's troops put in a spirited performance against Coleraine on Saturday and left with a deserved point as Adam Salley rifled home an equaliser on 73 minutes after Stewart Nixon opened the scoring just six minutes beforehand.

With no threat of relegation the Ports manager has challenged his players to take confidence from their display on the Ballycastle Road.

"We're pleased that there's no relegation, but we don't want to be down there anyway," he said.

"I've thought about it a lot over the last week and I'm wondering if it is hard for the players psychologically.

"We've no fans in at the moment and now if you don't have a threat such as relegation, do they take their foot off the pedal?

"Subconsciously that is going to happen.

"I'm trying to drive it so that it isn't because there are contracts and all the rest still to play for. I was pleased with us all over today, I thought we showed good discipline. We know it's tough in this league, but the boys have to learn that they have to perform like that every week.

"There's no point playing like that in this game and then forgetting about it in the next match."

The Bannsiders have now drawn their last two games and Oran Kearney - who was named as the NIFWA Manager of the Month for January - believes the busy schedule will lead to a reduced quality in performances.

"It epitomised to me - and I've said it to the players - what the next few weeks, months, is going to look like," he added.

"We've both had five games in 15 days and it looked it for parts of today. Not being disrespectful to either team but the quality wasn't where you would want it."

COLERAINE: Gallagher, Kane, Traynor, Canning, McConaghie, Carson (Nixon 67 mins), Lowry, Tweed, Glackin, Bradley (McLaughlin 34 mins), Allen (Parkhill 81 mins). Subs not used: Deane (GK), Jarvis, Wilson, Beverland.

PORTADOWN: Carney, Hall, McCallum, Finnegan, McKeown, Lavery, Tipton (Teggart 60 mins), Salley, Conaty, Scannell, Tilney. Subs not used: Buchanan, Murray, Croskery, Guy, Kerr, Jordan.

Referee: Keith Kennedy

Man of the match: Paul Finnegan

Match Rating: 6/10.

Belfast Telegraph


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