sundaylife

| 16.6°C Belfast

Tipton finally able to celebrate as Portadown's Premiership return officially confirmed

 

Close

Portadown manager Matthew Tipton

Portadown manager Matthew Tipton

PMAKER

Portadown manager Matthew Tipton

Matthew Tipton has revealed that, following a three-month mental roller coaster, he felt choked up with emotion after finally being informed that Portadown had gained promotion to the Premiership.

Having been relegated to the Championship in 2017, the Ports will return to the top flight next season, fulfilling the target Tipton set when he left the manager's post at Warrenpoint Town in February 2018 to drop down a division to lead the club where he had been a favourite as a player.

Before the season was curtailed in March, the Ports topped the table and, with the final standings decided on a points-per-game basis, that's where they stayed.

Tipton said: "It was a bit emotional when it was finally confirmed. I knew it was coming, but I was still a bit choked up, more for the players, the board and the fans because I know how hard they have it in recent years.

"I felt relief as well that the job I set out to do two years ago had been done. This is only the start of it, though. We can't just think we are in the Premiership now and that's that. We will need to work even harder.

"In the last three months, I had belief that if common sense prevailed, we would get promoted.

"If we went back and played on the pitch, I have confidence we would do it, or if they had to work it out on a points-per-game basis, we would be fine.

"At the same time, I had massive doubts about the season being made null and void.

"The logical side of me said that wouldn't happen, but there was still that doubt, so it was like a roller coaster going through my mind with ups and downs."

Asked if he felt sorry for other Championship clubs, straight talking Tipton responded: "No. Would they have felt for me?

"I know had it gone against us there would have been some saying, 'Slap it up, Portadown'.

"I get the fact other teams haven't had the chance to play out the season, but we are disappointed about that, too. We had faith in our ability that we would finish the season emphatically.

"Who I feel sympathy for is the 40,000 people in the UK who have lost their lives in this pandemic and their families."

Belfast Telegraph