A November team meeting within the Chambers Park camp highlighted a successful Towns’ Cup campaign as a crucial component of the season’s progress.
Now Portadown sit on the eve of a weekend home test with Dromore in the knowledge that everything rests on a winning performance tomorrow (Saturday).
It is a case of win or bust for Richard Hedley and his players as the Qualifying League rivals prepare to line out in a knockout date.
“We have been talking about the Towns’ Cup since November and now it is a case of all or nothing,” said Hedley, the Chambers Park head coach. “To put it simply, we know that defeat against Dromore would bring our season to a close in January.
“Thankfully, we have home advantage but must make that count.
“We lost away to Dromore earlier in the season and seem to be in a bit of a rut in terms of results.
“However, it is just about the Towns’ Cup this weekend and we all would love a run in the competition.
“We have lost four league games in a row now and seem to struggle in most fixtures for a 20-minute spell or so in the second half.
“It is hard to pinpoint why this happens but we cannot afford to invite pressure from the opposition.
“It would be awful to have the season end in January but, on the plus side, there should be a full panel of players for Saturday.”
The cup game will start at 2.30.
“Although we lost to Clogher Valley last weekend in the league, it was a tight game,” said Hedley. “We were left undone by one bounce and also made the wrong decisions at times but still had a number of positives.
“We highlighted a few specific areas in training and I was pleased with how the players worked on improving those aspects.
“Our fitness is as good as anyone else at this level so we can continue to work on improving other areas.”