“It’s time to step up, Ports”

Ronnie McFall. Pic by PressEye Ltd.
Ronnie McFall. Pic by PressEye Ltd.

Portadown manager Ronnie McFall is calling for the club to band together ahead of two derby dates in four days.

Last weekend’s 1-0 reverse at Glentoran marked back-to-back Danske Bank Premiership defeats in Belfast for the Ports.

McFall has responded to the below-par performances by demanding improved effort from his senior squad.

“It’s time to turn up and start producing,” said McFall. “It’s time to step up as five or six players have yet to start the season.

“Individuals must be able to motivate themselves but we are well below the standard capable and we cannot hide away from such a poor performance as against Glentoran on Saturday.

“It was our first league defeat at The Oval in five seasons and we must use training to get it right and carry that into games.

“We have had a tough start and, of course, going to Linfield and Glentoran is never easy.

“However, we now have three games coming up in the league at home to Dungannon Swifts, Glenavon and Coleraine.

“It is time to work together and make the most of home advantage to get back on track.

“Games with Dungannon Swifts are always tough because of the derby aspect and Glenavon will take care of itself.

“But derby games should not need any extra motivation.”

McFall is facing injury issues in defence following Keith O’Hara’s red card last weekend at The Oval.

Mark McAllister, who was sent off from the substitutes’ bench, will also miss the weekend derby. Garry Breen, Chris Ramsey and Jordan Lyttle are also struggling for fitness.

“It is difficult to build the momentum we want without a settled squad,” said McFall. “One plus is that other sides are also dropping points but we must get back on track.”

Kick-off tomorrow (Saturday) will be 3 o’clock and 7.45 on Tuesday.