Lessons from loss the Portadown ambition after collapse at Carrick
Portadown manager Matthew Tipton is refusing to push the panic button off a midweek collapse at Carrick Rangers.
The Ports raced clear by two goals inside the opening 11 minutes in pursuit of back-to-back wins for the first time in a first season back at senior level.
However, Rangers’ rapid response cut the gap within moments and Carrick turned the tables for a 3-2 half-time lead on the way to a 5-3 reverse for newly-promoted Portadown.
Now the focus turns to home games this weekend and next Tuesday against, respectively, league leaders Linfield and Crusaders with Tipton’s focus on learning lessons from the loss.
“It was a mad game and one of those nights I look back and think anything could have happened as both teams had attacking spells over an open game,” said Tipton. “As manager, I do not see those same circumstances coming up again this season and, really, I draw a line under it as a rare night of individual mistakes.
“We are not hiding behind excuses and, of course, to lose from a winning position of 2-0 is something we must look at - but it’s about backing the players to move forward in the right way.
“We made individual errors on Tuesday in the face of Carrick’s pressure.
“Even during previous defeats this season it has come down to a more collective drop...so the Carrick display was unusual for us.
“It is not about excuses but the reality is we remain a squad learning about Premiership football in our first season back and first season at this level for many of the players.
“I will take the positives from scoring three goals away from home and from some of the periods of play in the match.
“We now go into the Linfield and Crusaders games within this next week of fixtures looking for signs we have been able to learn from those mistakes.
“When I look back across the past run of games, it comes down to one bad night after so many really positive performances.
“The players have offered plenty of examples of learning to adapt to this level over the season and, importantly, to move on from mistakes.
“So I’m confident they can do the same after Tuesday...that’s the key for us and this squad of players.”
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