Matthew Tipton highlights midfield unit at heart of Portadown win

Portadown manager Matthew Tipton singled out his teenage midfield unit as central to success over Carrick Rangers - just hours after confirming the absence of club captain Luke Wilson to long-term injury.

Monday, 12th April 2021, 6:00 am

With Wilson watching from the stands in the aftermath of a cruciate damage diagnosis which Tipton feels will keep the young midfielder out for “a minimum of nine months”, the enforced changes in response helped Portadown to a welcome win over Carrick by 2-0.

“I felt our midfield dominated...with George Tipton our best player, Barney McKeown superb and Oisin Conaty showing desire to play despite being sick all week,” said Tipton, who also emphasised the widespread support from within the club for Wilson. “And 99 per cent of the time we wouldn’t even have selected Oisin but I felt we needed him for this type of game.

“That’s a midfield three of two 18-year-olds and a 19-year-old.

Portadown manager Matthew Tipton. Pic by Pacemaker.

“We’ve not always had the results and that can be sometimes when up against teams better than you.

“In open play, if being honest and harsh, we didn’t show enough of that quality as, at times, we had three or four against one on occasions but overhit it or passed it straight to a Carrick player.

“And it’s hard, obviously Carrick are going to make it tough and, at one stage, they had seven up front with three at the back.

“But we have to also learn from those mistakes in certain positions as, on another day, we might need it.

“I can praise the players for being unlucky against the Linfields and Larnes but there are only two teams below us in the league so we have to keep those teams below us and that means we must win today and on Tuesday against Dungannon.

“And that’s not being disrespectful as I’m sure they expect the same as the league table doesn’t lie.

There were some really good passages of play and you also have to give credit to the opposition as no side is simply going to let you play.

“But what we had to do, we did well.

“I was never in doubt we could do that but, overall, psychologically that can be massive for the players to put in that kind of work and get the result.

“On Tuesday I expect more again and expect us to get on the ball a little bit more.”

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