McFall’s motivation points over plaudits

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

Portadown manager Ronnie McFall is refusing to look beyond the reward of three points ahead of this year’s Mid-Ulster derby on Boxing Day.

Both the Ports and Glenavon dropped points last weekend - adding to the high stakes alongside the Mid-Ulster bragging rights.

Saturday’s defeat away to Dungannon Swifts marked the ninth of the 20 games played to date in the Danske Bank Premiership by Portadown.

Glenavon can boast an improved league position and 11-point advantage over McFall’s men.

However, McFall’s motivation is the bigger picture, with the immediate opportunity to get the season back on track a greater incentive than any parochial plaudits.

“The Boxing Day game always draws a big crowd, with a big atmosphere,” said McFall. “Glenavon had a disappointing result last weekend as well and we certainly did not want to be going into Boxing Day with a defeat.

“However, we can only look after our own situation.

“In the past, this time of the year was more demanding as you had fixtures every few days it seemed.

“Now it comes down to Saturday to Saturday basically but you still have to prepare in the right way across the holidays.”

Portadown can welcome back Garry Breen from suspension but Chris Ramsey is the latest addition to the injury list.

“Chris has had an x-ray and is suffering from a broken metatarsal,” said McFall. “It is going to be quite a few weeks before we can expect too many players to return from injury.

“We went with Tim Mouncey at right-back against Dungannon after Chris’ absence as Jake Richardson had not played for six weeks or so due to injury, then Tim came off at half-time with an injury.

“It is about working together and getting the right result going into 2016 as we have high hopes.

“I felt we looked jaded against Dungannon after Monday’s match on the heavy pitch with Glentoran.

“We got off to a good start with the first goal but looked too open in midfield and conceded three poor goals.”

Kick-off tomorrow (Saturday) will be 3 o’clock.