‘I got it wrong’ says Portadown manager Matthew Tipton
Manager Matthew Tipton is willing to accept the burden of blame for Portadown’s stuttering league form - but is also demanding his players learn lessons from recent setbacks.
A draw at home to Newry City AFC marked an end to the Ports’ seven-game winning sequence across the Bluefin Sport Championship before defeat arrived on the road on Saturday at Harland and Wolff Welders.
Although Tipton accepts setbacks form part of any league campaign, he refused to ignore the danger signs within those two disappointments.
“I’ve no problem holding up my hands and accepting I got it wrong,” said Tipton. “I make all decisions based on what I think will benefit the club and selections can come down to factors such as player fitness, protecting injury concerns, the opposition or conditions.
“But something has obviously gone wrong with my decisions if we go from winning seven in a row to a draw and defeat.
“So, I accept the responsibility for the choices made with the line-ups.
“But it is also a situation players must learn from moving forward as, especially on Saturday, we simply did not do the things which had been working so successfully for us in previous games.
“And it’s not about individuals or even areas of the pitch, we think of everything as one unit.
“It is a team and that is what we must trust when not playing well - to fall back on the hard work and development done together.
“The hope is you have a squad allowing players to come in and out with minimal disruption because everyone is on the same level in terms of our preparation and what we expect.
“But the problems of the past were apparent again on Saturday and that is something we must look at for the future.
“We lacked cohesion as a group and the frustration comes not from the defeat as that is part of football, but how we lost as the players simply did not do what has worked for us in the past.”
The Ports - now sitting second, one point behind league leaders Loughgall - can welcome Dergview to Shamrock Park on Saturday for an opportunity to get back on track in the Bluefin Sport Championship.
“We reinforced our philosophy this week in training, the importance of the unit and working together on the gameplan that we carry forward from training into games,” said Tipton. “We are so much better than we showed last weekend.
“We got a 2-1 win at Dergview a few weeks back but they showed some dangerous periods and we know they can make life difficult for any team in this league.”