Garrett reveals social media role in McFall news

Robert Garrett (right). Pic by PressEye Ltd.
Robert Garrett (right). Pic by PressEye Ltd.

Robert Garrett has revealed how Portadown players heard of Ronnie McFall’s resignation on Saturday over social media.

McFall stepped down after 29 years as Ports boss during the Irish Cup quarter-final exit to Lurgan Celtic.

Within minutes of the final whistle, McFall made clear his intention to resign to chairman Roy McMahon.

However, McFall then left Shamrock Park without further comment.

“Ronnie came in and talked a bit about the game then left and after we found out the news from social media,” said Garrett. “It was a shock and I am disappointed it ended that way for Ronnie.

“The big man was super to me and I appreciated his honesty as I always knew where I stood with him.

“He is a very proud man and I am sure after so long as Portadown manager it was hard for him to make that decision.

“He gave me confidence but, as players, we did not show that on the pitch.

“As a squad, we have let him down this season in a big way and performance levels have not been good enough overall.

“It is not down to lack of hunger or fight but confidence seems to have been low on the pitch too often.

“It has been frustrating and hurt at times, with the standards not good enough for the manager, club or fans.”

Garrett admits frustration has resulted in extra problems for the Ports.

“Stupid things have led to problems, including my red card recently against Glenavon,” said Garrett. “We do not have a big enough squad to cope with suspensions and I should learn from past mistakes.

“I chased the guy maybe 60 yards then dove in and was obviously never thinking about Ronnie or how it would disrupt the team, it was just instinctive.

“You look at someone like Keith O’Hara who puts so much into the club and sets the standard as captain.

“I feel sorry for someone like Keith as we have not lived up to his example often enough for the club.

“We have had big wins at times this season, like beating the defending champions Crusaders on the first day of the season, or Linfield, or Coleraine in the Irish Cup.

“But we have failed to build on those big moments.”

Uncertainty remains over the next step for Portadown - with a Board of Directors meeting scheduled to take place today (Monday) to discuss options.

Garrett is determined to bounce back from the Irish Cup disappointment with a rapid return to form.

“We cannot compete for a trophy but there is still so much to play for due to the European play-off,” said Garrett. “The Irish Cup was our main priority but now we must fight to stay out of the relegation zone, then push for seventh.

“The chance for European football is a massive opportunity and we must focus now on Coleraine at Shamrock Park this weekend.

“Everyone must give everything this week ahead of Saturday.”