Crunch time for Ports

Portadown manager Niall Currie. Pic by Pacemaker.
Portadown manager Niall Currie. Pic by Pacemaker.

Portadown’s season effectively centres on 90-plus minutes of football this weekend with the first of two games against relegation rivals Carrick Rangers inside three fixtures.

Niall Currie is calling on his players to kick off the closing seven challenges of the season with a win that can cut the gap between the top-flight’s bottom side and Rangers.

Carrick Rangers manager Aaron Callaghan. Pic by PressEye Ltd.Carrick Rangers manager Aaron Callaghan. Pic by PressEye Ltd.

Carrick Rangers manager Aaron Callaghan. Pic by PressEye Ltd.Carrick Rangers manager Aaron Callaghan. Pic by PressEye Ltd.

“It’s all or nothing now and anything other than a win this weekend marks the end of the road,” said Currie. “But we must keep on fighting and giving everything we can on the pitch between now and the end of the season.

“Whatever else is going on, we have to put 100 per cent into what happens, especially for our supporters.

“We know what Saturday means and how the league table looks but if we win this weekend then suddenly it is eight points with games on paper these players have the ability to win.

“Now is not the time for white flags to come out, now is the time to give it our all for the final few games.”

Rangers boss Aaron Callaghan is resisting the urge to adopt a safety-first approach with a view to preserving the advantage over that automatic drop spot.

“Trying to be defensive invites pressure and in these six-pointer games the first goal is often vital,” he said. “All we can do is concentrate on our own performance and put out a side with the best possible chance of securing the result.

“We need to focus on our own positives.”