IRISH LEAGUE: Board’s full backing for Portadown boss Currie

Niall Currie in reflective mood as he heads off the pitch on Saturday following the Irish Cup exit. Pic by Pacemaker.
Niall Currie in reflective mood as he heads off the pitch on Saturday following the Irish Cup exit. Pic by Pacemaker.

Portadown director Peter Hunniford has offered a full defence of manager Niall Currie in the aftermath of Saturday’s 5-0 derby demolition by Glenavon.

The Ports remain rooted to the bottom of the Danske Bank Premiership table and last weekend’s defeat - described as “humiliating” by Currie - proved another blow in front of a packed Shamrock Park.

However, Hunniford and the Board of Directors turned to the ‘Portadown Times’ to confirm total faith in Currie’s appointment.

Currie moved to his hometown club from Ards last December with the ambition of reversing a Portadown decline in motion across a number of seasons.

Irish Football Association-imposed points deductions and an embargo on signing players as professionals this campaign added to existing issues at the root of the Ports’ drop in status.

“It is not a vote of confidence as such as, from the viewpoint of the directors, there is not even a single question about Niall’s position moving forward,” said Hunniford. “We remain realistic about the circumstances he faced when appointed as manager last December and very much view the job as a long-term project.

“We have a great working relationship with Niall and understand the restrictions he has had in terms of signings in the January transfer window but also feel the squad balance has still improved.

“For one reason or another, senior professionals have not been available to Niall and we appreciate the overall situation.

“But we see the hard work going on behind the scenes, the commitment to introducing and promoting young players and dedication to the job.”

A major squad reshuffle is expected this summer as existing players depart as free agents and Currie opts to bring in fresh faces.

“He will be working with a blank canvas after this season,” said Hunniford. “We see a bright future for the club as he continues to give youth a chance plus add his signings.

“The support on Saturday was excellent, as has been the case since Niall arrived, so we look forward to the fans continuing to give that majority backing.”