Matthew Tipton wants ‘game savvy’ Portadown push to counter ‘embarrassing’ rivals
Portadown manager Matthew Tipton wants his players to show greater ‘game savvy’ in a bid to counteract rivals’ ‘embarrassing’ behaviour.
The Ports boss feels his youthful squad is short of the ‘cuteness’ opponents with more senior experience have cultivated - and the imbalance has hurt his club in a first season back at Premiership level since 2017.
“It’s important to be clear I’m not advocating cheating or disrespect towards referees,” said Tipton. “But I do think my players would benefit more from using the same methods I see in so many other sides.
“You can call it honesty or bravery when my players just get up and get on with things rather than make a big deal out of certain incidents.
“But when I see opponents going about things in a different way then it has to come down to us changing our approach to be on a level playing field.
“We can be too naive when compared to the game savvy or cuteness others deploy.
“And when I look back over moments and decisions I can only draw the conclusion that it has hurt us.
“I don’t like to see it and most weeks I’m on the sidelines cringing at what other players are doing, it’s embarrassing behaviour at times but, in a game of such fine margins, it can make a difference.
“It’s not about trying to con a referee but I reflect on decisions which have gone for others then something similar against us and the only difference is we don’t fight our corner in the same way.”
Tipton can draw on a 20-year professional playing career for lessons and has been passing on tips.
“I’ve been schooling my players as it is admirable how honest they are but that is not always rewarded,” said Tipton. “Drawing attention to it might not help our cause but then we will be in exactly the same position as at present and, really, it’s more about my players learning about top-flight football.”
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