McFall: “Make it count”

Portadown's Sean Mackle (left) celebrates his late goal at Windsor Park on Friday. Pic by PressEye Ltd.
Portadown's Sean Mackle (left) celebrates his late goal at Windsor Park on Friday. Pic by PressEye Ltd.

Each Portadown player will walk out at Shamrock Park this weekend with the chance to become an Irish Cup hero - however, the focus of manager Ronnie McFall is on the team over the individual.

Sean Mackle’s late strike on Friday put him in the Ports history books as the first player to grab a winning league goal for the club at Windsor Park since Gary Hamilton in December 2002.

McFall, however, considers the group effort as central to the 2-1 Danske Bank Premiership triumph and any chance of progress this weekend into the Irish Cup semi-finals at Linfield’s expense.

“Modern football is a 14-man game and every player must be ready to put everything into Saturday,” said the Ports boss. “Friday’s result will give everyone a boost and certain players in particular can come out of it with a personal lift.

“However, that will not count for much come the whistle this weekend and we need to show the same mental strength and desire to get a win.

“It will be settled on the day and head-to-head I have faith in my squad up against any side in the league.

“We can take confidence from last week’s league win but it should be a different situation in the cup, with less time on the ball.”

Gary Twigg will return from suspension but Mark McAllister remains a concern due to hamstring trouble.

“The league win last week proved the versatility across our squad,” said McFall. “However, tactics will come second to the players out on the pitch.

“Of course, with home advantage you want to make that count in our favour so the fans also have a big role.”

Kick-off will be 3 o’clock.