IRISH LEAGUE: Pat McGibbon focused on points as Portadown target Premiership survival

Pat McGibbon. Pic by PressEye Ltd.
Pat McGibbon. Pic by PressEye Ltd.

Pat McGibbon won’t allow Portadown’s off-field problems distract his focus from the club’s massive relegation fight.

The Ports were this week hit with a £10,000 fine and transfer embargo by the Irish FA after being found guilty of two offences in relation to player payments.

The Shamrock Park club is set to appeal the sanctions, on the grounds that the evidence they supplied “was sufficient to show that no undisclosed payments were made”.

Interim manager McGibbon refused to comment on the ongoing issue, insisting his sole focus is on Saturday’s home clash with Dungannon Swifts.

Portadown sit ninth in the table, just five points ahead of basement club Warrenpoint Town.

And with just four games remaining this season, McGibbon is under no illusions as he looks to steer the club to safety.

“It’s the old cliché, but we have four cup finals left and we need to try and win them all,” he said.

“All I can do is try and influence what happens on the pitch. Everything else is out of my control.”

Portadown boosted their survival hopes with a spirited point against Ballinamallard last week.

McGibbon hopes that draw can be a catalyst to greater things this season.

“It was good to keep a clean sheet and get something out of the game,” he added. “We showed character, and will need to continue doing that.”