KEVIN Braniff is confident Portadown’s fortunes will soon change – starting today at Solitude.
The Ports have picked up just one win from seven opening Danske Bank Premiership fixtures.
It has been an early-season malaise for Ronnie McFall’s men – whose next instalment is a trip to North Belfast to face the current league leaders.
But despite nine league places and eight points separating the two sides, Braniff is in bullish mood ahead of the showdown with Cliftonville.
“Cliftonville might be top of the league but I am confident going there on Saturday,” Braniff said.
“We have a good record at Solitude and we always seem to play well on their 3G pitch. We know if we can win there then we can push on and start climbing the table.
“Yes, it has been a disappointing start, but we know we can turn the tide by getting one win under our belts. So hopefully that happens on Saturday.”
Portadown enjoyed a positive Europa League campaign during the summer, defeating Shkendija 79 before losing out to MK Slaven Koprivnica.
But any pre-season success has not been translated to their Premiership campaign.
“It has happened before to us, where we do well in Europe and then we don’t hit the ground running in the league,” Braniff added.
“Last season it took us a few months to hit top gear. It was only after January that we started picking up wins consistently.
“We don’t want that to happen this season. The way the league has gone no-one is getting away. Linfield are only three points ahead, and if we beat Cliftonville then that will bring them closer.
“But it is easy saying that, now we have to deliver.
“We haven’t defended as well as we can, and it has cost us goals.
“We are scoring but we are also conceding, so we need to improve.
“We have had some injuries which has meant chopping and changing, but we know we are better than this.”