Ports fans hit out at Harding interview

Portadown assistant manager Kieran Harding (left) with boss Ronnie McFall. Pic by PressEye Ltd.
Portadown assistant manager Kieran Harding (left) with boss Ronnie McFall. Pic by PressEye Ltd.

Kieran Harding has moved to clarify his weekend comments, in which the Portadown assistant manager described a section of the club support as “imposters”.

Harding’s post-match interview led to a backlash, with fans turning to social media sites to hit out at that viewpoint.

In the BBC interview Harding suggested “some of our supporters need to take a cold, hard look at themselves”. He also described some as “quite rightly having a go at us, we haven’t played to our capabilities”.

However, Harding stands by his criticism of those who opted to boo following Portadown’s equaliser in the 3-1 defeat by Crusaders.

“I think the interview was clear in that it recognised I was talking about the group who decided to boo after we scored a goal,” said Harding. “I’ve spoken to media and football people not connected to the club and they were astonished and appalled that supporters would choose to boo after scoring a goal.

“My comments were directed at that group and we all appreciate the genuine supporters, who have been outstanding.

“The vast majority rose to applaud the team off the pitch in support of the performance.”

Fans reacted with anger on Twitter to the original interview.

A number of supporters felt any negative reaction during the match was towards Darren Murray’s decision to celebrate with his manager Ronnie McFall after scoring, rather than the equaliser.

One account, under the handle of The Red Element, felt that Harding “calling the people who pay his wages imposters for expressing their discontent, due to various reasons, is ridiculous” and that it “will only drive more fans away”.

Another account, operating as MissRedHen, expressed anger at the interview.

“Livid isn’t the word,” described the Portadown supporter. “How dare he call me an imposter.

“How dare he say that I need to take a long hard look at myself.

“To be honest, the only thing I need to consider is why I continue to keep going back to a club that only values their ideal of what a fan should be.”

The Board of Directors released a short statement last week confirming that long-serving Ports boss McFall has “our backing until the end of the season”.