Portadown confirm January centre-back plans but transfer talk ‘not a threat’

Portadown manager Matthew Tipton has declared every player’s place stands under threat from January transfer targets - but wants his current squad to embrace any future faces as additions not replacements.

Saturday, 13th November 2021, 2:20 am
Updated Saturday, 13th November 2021, 2:30 am

The Ports play host to Carrick Rangers this weekend aiming to enhance a position three points off bottom in the Danske Bank Premiership.

A spirited scoreless draw at the same Shamrock Park venue last Saturday helped to secure a first clean sheet of the league campaign for Tipton’s players.

The search for increased solidity is one reason why Tipton has declared a New Year aim to bring in defensive strength but remains clear in his viewpoint he expects more across the board.

Portadown boss Matthew Tipton

However, although Tipton’s goal is to bolster ambitions for the second half of the season with January window signings, the Ports boss wants to increase overall squad strength rather than simply stagnate by shuffling faces in and out.

“I’m out looking for a centre-half...the January transfer window is coming and my focus is to bring in one, or even two, into the football club,” said Tipton. “But if the players in the team keep performing like that (0-0 v Linfield) it doesn’t mean I won’t sign another centre-half but what it does mean is that will give me decisions to make.

“At the minute, there isn’t many or any of the players who can say their name is inked into the teamsheet every week.

“I don’t think we’ve had enough performances, individually or collectively, that I can say ‘he is definitely playing every game’.

“And that’s everybody and the players know that.

“I don’t think anyone has played well enough to say they are guaranteed a start in the team.

“My job is get better performances for the team so, as manager, if I need to bring it other players to do that then I will.

“But this is not a threat...I think that’s a waste of time.

“If I’m a player thinking my manager is after such-and-such a player then that would inspire me.

“Better players bring better teams, better teams bring better results, better results bring better positions in the league.

“The challenge, if we do bring better players in, is for those here to make sure they stay in the team.

“I’m not scattergun in my approach - if I target a player it’s because I think he has something that can improve our squad.

“If you stand still in football you go backwards and get overtaken.

“Anyone can raise a game against Linfield but we need that performance week in, week out.

“Although, we have seen it against other teams, so it’s not like that was just once.

“Everybody cannot play well 10 out of 10, that’s impossible.

“But you need to be physically and mentally ready to do the job on the pitch.

“Other teams might be able to get away with it 99 percent but we need all our players 100 per cent.

“What I class as 100 per cent is mentally you are at the game.

“I don’t think we’ve always been just at it - coming in 100 per cent with the game the only focus.”


A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this story on our website. While I have your attention, I also have an important request to make of you.

In order for us to continue to provide high quality and trusted local news on this free-to-read site, I am asking you to also please purchase a copy of our newspaper whenever you are able to do so.

Our journalists are highly trained and our content is independently regulated by IPSO to some of the most rigorous standards in the world.

But being your eyes and ears comes at a price. So we need your support more than ever to buy our newspapers during this crisis.

With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on many of our local valued advertisers - and consequently the advertising that we receive - we are more reliant than ever on you helping us to provide you with news and information by buying a copy of our newspaper when you can safely.

You can also enjoy unlimited access to the best news from across Northern Ireland and the UK by subscribing to newsletter.co.uk

With a digital subscription, you can read more than five articles, see fewer ads, enjoy faster load times, and get access to exclusive newsletters and content. Visit https://www.newsletter.co.uk/subscriptions now to sign up.

Thank you