McGibbon highlights need for Ports clarity

Pat McGibbon. Pic by PressEye Ltd.
Pat McGibbon. Pic by PressEye Ltd.

Pat McGibbon has put his full support behind moves this week by Portadown directors towards the appointment of a permanent manager - even if it costs him the job.

McGibbon stepped in as interim manager in the aftermath of Ronnie McFall’s resignation and will face a fifth Danske Bank Premiership test tomorrow (Saturday) when Ballinamallard United visit Shamrock Park.

The former Northern Ireland international is aiming to stop the rot after four consecutive defeats within a run of overall league form which has left the Ports just four points above the relegation zone entering the final five fixtures.

On-the-field fears have been complicated by a season of turbulence off the pitch - with the postponement of this week’s Irish Football Association disciplinary hearing over salary protocol until Monday just one key area of concern.

The Board of Directors took steps this week towards solving one issue by holding a meeting to review the 11-strong list of applicants for the position of manager.

McGibbon, who arrived as physio this season for a third spell at Shamrock Park, considers it a progressive move by the officials.

“I played for the club at the start of my career as a teenager and came back to Portadown after time in England, so have a great affinity with the place,” said McGibbon. “In my experience as a player and manager I have seen the importance of stability at a club.

“I have tried to help bring everyone closer together since taking on the caretaker role and it is about creating the most effective environment possible for players to produce on the pitch and get the short-term results we need to avoid relegation.

“However, the reality of football is that the longer the uncertainty runs the more impact it has on everyone, especially players.

“Decisions must be made and the club is facing a massive summer, irrespective of what happens over the next few weeks or months.

“The sooner clarity can come the better, no matter who ends up in the manager’s role.

“Once a decision is made then everyone can start to move forward with plans and make moves for the long-term benefit of the club.”