Tim Mouncey has shared the football field with Glenn Ferguson and Gary McCutcheon during many of his career’s dream moments but is hoping to give the Ballymena United pair a nightmare weekend.
Mouncey enjoyed a string of silverware alongside Ferguson in Linfield blue then with McCutcheon at the Ports.
Now he is aiming to take one step closer to another prize - at the expense of his two former team-mates.
“Glenn as a player at Linfield was unbelievable and he is doing a great job as Ballymena manager,” said Mouncey. “Gary and Matthew Tipton are both former Portadown team-mates of mine now at Ballymena and I consider them two of the best strikers in the game.
“We all know exactly what they are capable of on the pitch so it is up to us to use that knowledge to handle the threat.
“Ballymena have been a bit of a bogey team for us for some reason and we have conceded goals in previous fixtures but also scored, so keeping it tight at the back will be crucial this weekend.
“Keith O’Hara’s return to the side has been a massive boost in helping bolster the defence and improving communication between everyone around him on the pitch.
“It is a game we simply have to win as it offers our only hope of a trophy this season and a great opportunity for European football.”
Red cards last weekend for Robert Garrett and Chris Casement will hurt the Ports in key areas on Saturday.
“The three-man midfield of me, Michael Gault and Robert was working really well but we have other players like Mark McAllister and Darren Murray returning to the squad, so it is about options,” said Mouncey. “We want to make the best use of the big pitch at The Oval and I don’t think the players mind the evening kick-off too much as long as we rest the correct way leading up to Saturday.
“It is a big week for us in terms of training and getting our heads right for such a crucial match.
“The bottom line is we need to put in a performance against Ballymena.”