Portadown manager Matthew Tipton says the club will stand by captain Luke Wilson, who has suffered a cruciate ligament injury.
The 21-year-old was carried off during the midweek defeat to Larne after putting in an innocuous challenge on John Herron and now faces a nine month spell on the sidelines, not due to return until midway through next season.
“It’s really disappointing for the lad," Tipton told Radio Ulster. "He’s been thriving in the Premiership and he’s the leader of the club. It unfortunate for him but we’ll support him and back him all the way now. He’s just sign a five-year deal so at least he knows he’s going to be secure that way and we can do his rehab to get him back in.
“It just means somebody else will have to stand up and deliver. I thought the boys in midfield today (George Tipton and Barney McKeown) were outstanding today if I’m honest.
“That’s three cruciate ligament injuries at the club now with Paddy McNally and Callum McVeigh as well so our physio will be a busy man.”
Tipton was speaking after a Ben Tilney free-kick into the top corner and Lee Bonis’ 10th goal of the league campaign earned the Ports their fifth win over the season, a 2-0 victory over Carrick Rangers, and lifted them three points clear of their second bottom opponents and five ahead of basement side Dungannon.
“I don’t care if it’s deserved or not, it’s three points and clean sheet, which is the name of the game,” said Tipton, who had seen his side lose by the odd goal to Linfield, Crusaders and Larne in recent weeks.
“We have to remember in the last five or six games we’ve played the top teams in the league so bad luck or not, that’s the level we’re at. We’re playing a team today who are just below us in the league so it’s about then showing what we’re worth against teams around us. There’s no use coming off with bad. We’ve run Linfield, Larne and Crusaders close but you get nothing for hard luck in this game.”