A natural reaction to defeat is often the desire from within a coaching team to mask the problem areas and put positives in sharp focus.
However, Richard Hedley is adamant his post-match review of Saturday’s defeat by Bangor is based on a deep-rooted belief in his players’ potential for progress rather than any blind optimism.
Portadown lost out by 43-16 in the opening home test of the Qualifying League as the latest victims to free-scoring Bangor.
But Hedley is determined to dig below the surface of the scoreline and use the level of performance as a building block for future wins.
“I can accept that a glance at the final result paints a picture but anyone who watched our display cannot feel anything but a sense of a harsh gap,” said Hedley, the Portadown head coach. “We did not get the rub of the green in certain situations, which can happen, plus key moments went against us.
“It was 19-16 entering the closing stages then the wheels came off.
“We suffered a double injury setback in the match plus lost a player to the sin bin so that numerical issue allowed Bangor to really push on with late scores.
“There was a crucial score early in the second half with the game tight that provided Bangor with that vital edge.
“We managed to drag the match back at various stages with some really good play and that is something we want to push on with, starting this weekend against Cooke.
“Injuries and the timing of certain moments cost us that ability to make an impact but there were still lots of positives.”
Portadown will now switch the spotlight on to Cooke.
“The talk during last week leading up to Bangor was all about how we must view it as a big match and prepare in the right way,” said Hedley. “Now the aim is to regroup and approach the Cooke match in similar fashion.
“If we repeat the standard of performance plus work on improving certain areas, I am confident we will be moving in the right direction.”