Darren Murray is counting on the growing confidence within the Ports camp to continue the club’s strong 2015 finale into the New Year.
A double by the striker on Monday helped to provide Portadown with 10 points from the 12 on offer in recent weeks against Glentoran, Linfield, Ballymena United and Carrick Rangers.
The end product of Murray and his strike partner, Gary Twigg, sharing room on the scoresheet at the final whistle also offered increased hope to the home fanbase.
Past performances have placed Murray and Twigg as one of the most feared frontlines in recent seasons. However, Monday marked only the second time this season that both appeared together on target in league play - following September’s 2-2 draw with Glenavon - and the first occasion that resulted in victory.
Murray considers improved results cause for optimism and an indication of the rejuvenated team spirit around Shamrock Park.
“I have certainly noticed it in training and matchdays, especially since the Carrick Rangers game,” said Murray. “We came in 2-0 down at half-time but, after a teamtalk, came out and got the win.
“We are going well this month and, hopefully, it continues as Christmas is always a crucial period.
“We want to be up around the top teams so should be looking for a top-four push by getting the head down and working hard as a team.
“Gary scored two great goals and I got a couple so, hopefully, there are more to come.”
Portadown took the lead against Glentoran then recovered from a 2-1 deficit to claim a 5-3 success.
“Fans got value for money anyway and it is always nice to get the win at home in front of our supporters,” said Murray. “It was always going to be tough against Glentoran, especially in those conditions, so we were buzzing to go in 3-2 up at half-time.
“We finished the job in the second half and now have to prepare for a tough visit to Dungannon Swifts then the Boxing Day derby.
“Now we must carry this form on up the table and pick up as many points as we can over the next few months of the season.”