McGibbon targets mix of Ports grit and grace

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

Portadown manager Pat McGibbon is calling on his players to combine the beautiful game with the ugly side of football after back-to-back defeats, WRITES PATRICK VAN DORT.

Single-goal setbacks in successive Danske Bank Premiership games against Ards and Glentoran have left the Ports struggling to claw back the 12-point deficit currently imposed on the club by the Irish Football Association disciplinary committee.

With an appeal expected within the next fortnight to finalise that issue, McGibbon’s focus remains on events under his control - starting with the weekend visit to defending champions Crusaders.

McGibbon has praised the panel for integrating elements of the high-tempo passing game the former Northern Ireland international wants to put in place but admits the necessity to add steel to the silk.

“We know we have players who can pass the ball and that is obviously the style of football we want to produce for the club and fans,” said McGibbon. “However, given the 12-point deduction hanging over the club, we need to get as many wins on the board as quickly as possible.

“You always have to earn the right to play and, put simply, the best pass is the one which ends up in the back of the net.

“Some of our signings continue to adapt but team spirit remains high.

“Crusaders will be full of confidence but away to the champions is great motivation to get back on track and now is the time for our leaders to dig in and everyone to work together.”