McAllister set for shock Ports recall

Mark McAllister. Pic by PressEye Ltd.
Mark McAllister. Pic by PressEye Ltd.

Mark McAllister is set for a sensational recall to the Portadown senior squad.

Niall Currie was unveiled last night as Ports manager and confirmed a priority would be to bring the talented outcast back into his panel.

McAllister and Sean Mackle were both axed in September from Pat McGibbon’s group due to internal disciplinary issues.

Mackle recently returned to the set-up but McAllister remained frozen out under interim boss Vinny Arkins, who took charge following McGibbon’s resignation but could not hold the job on a permanent basis due to the lack of coaching qualifications.

“I’ve been in touch with Mark and he will come back into the squad for training on Tuesday night,” said Currie. “Every player starts with a clean slate and I want to sit down with each one and see what makes him tick as an individual.

“We are not in a position to rule out one of the best strikers in the Irish League and a fit and sharp Mark McAllister brings so much to the table for Portadown.

“I know Mark and he knows me, with communication positive and I look forward to a smiling Mark McAllister.

“It is the same with every player, I hate negativity and we want a positive changing room so everyone stays strong together across the ups and downs.

“I want to lift the morale of the players, fans and everyone connected to the club.

“I have a contract covering 18 months and with the option of a year’s extension so have short-term plans and long-term goals.

“We will give it our all to stay up this season or, on a worst-case scenario, tackle the Championship next season.

“But it is important we get this club back to challenging for trophies as people need to remember this is a massive name.

“We are going to do everything we can to get that right on the pitch and put the smiles back on the faces of the players and the fans.”

Currie will spend this week preparing for the challenge of Saturday’s trip to Cliftonville - the first step on his bid to rescue the club from relegation.