It’s all or nothing as Ports prepare for cup

Ronnie McFall.  Pic by PressEye Ltd.
Ronnie McFall. Pic by PressEye Ltd.

Portadown manager Ronnie McFall is refusing to place any extra pressure on a weekend Irish Cup tie which could prove significant for the club’s short-term and long-term prospects.

The Ports play host to Coleraine tomorrow (Saturday) aiming for a welcome win to maintain the push for a prize.

The Irish Cup stands as Portadown’s sole hope for silverware this season.

Portadown will enter the tie off the back of six successive Danske Bank Premiership defeats and with long-serving boss McFall expected to leave the club in the summer.

An Irish Cup triumph is considered key to future rebuilding plans, due to a financial boost and positive signal about the club’s status.

However, McFall is backing the senior players to block out any extra factors and enter the cup tie with full focus despite the high stakes.

“Motivation for everyone around the club still comes from the way we lost last season’s Irish Cup final against Glentoran,” said McFall. “There is no extra motivation required and we want to make the most of home advantage.

“We all know how big a game it is this weekend and it offers the last chance for a trophy for both clubs.

“I have always had confidence in the commitment and big-game experience of the players at this club.

“The hope is we can use that big-game experience to gain an edge and get the result.

“There is no question it is a massive match but we should take confidence from our play in the past two games, despite the league results.

“We should draw confidence from how we have played and take those positives into what is the one-off challenge of a cup tie.”

Tim Mouncey will miss the match due to suspension - with Garry Breen a risk because of his thigh injury and Jake Richardson still out.

Martin Marron - a former youth player - has returned to Shamrock Park as a final signing before the end of the January transfer window.

“Billy Brennan left us late last week to sign for Larne so we needed to bring in another goalkeeper,” said McFall. “This is now the squad we have for the rest of the season but I have confidence in the players’ commitment.”

Kick-off will be 3 o’clock.