Portadown face Glenavon in derby double with defeat not victory the blueprint
Portadown manager Matthew Tipton views this week’s defeat to Coleraine as a better blueprint for his players’ hopes of victory over Glenavon than the derby success enjoyed back in October.
The Ports this weekend face a first top-flight league test on home soil with Glenavon since relegation in 2017 - before also entertaining the same opposition next Tuesday with Danske Bank Premiership points at stake for the second time in quick succession.
Tipton’s squad announced a return to senior football in style on the opening weekend of the season with victory over Glenavon by 4-2.
However, the Ports boss feels events under the Lurgan floodlights offer little bearing on future Shamrock Park challenges.
“To be honest, I expect the line-ups to be significantly different compared to that first match and we sit months on with squads affected by the ups and down of injuries, form, suspensions, transfers and experiences of those games in between then and now.
“In fact, we won on that night at Mourneview Park but I want my players to think more about Tuesday’s loss at Coleraine going into this weekend than a fixture so far in the past.
“On Tuesday, the players produced a performance with far more aggression against Coleraine than in Saturday’s game with Ballymena.
“It was a display closer to what we asked of them and the players were brave in trusting then delivering on our preparations and gameplan.
“We tested the Coleraine defence much more than against Ballymena and everything positive came from playing a much higher defensive line compared to the weekend before, which allowed us to push up the pitch and cause more problems in the final third.
“The clinical finishing we had in that October win over Glenavon is one element we want to carry into this run of derby games but, overall, it is the Coleraine performance, despite the 2-0 result, which we want to draw on more moving forward.”
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