IRISH LEAGUE: Portadown boss Pat McGibbon looks for home win against Cliftonville

Pat McGibbon

Pat McGibbon

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Portadown manager Pat McGibbon accepts that the fans patience is coming to an end following a week to forget.

Shamrock Park has been far from home, sweet, home for the Ports due to Saturday’s Danske Bank Premiership defeat by Ballymena United before a shock Mid-Ulster Cup exit on Tuesday against Amateur League-based Rathfriland Rangers.

The hat-trick of home tests inside eight days will draw to a close tomorrow when Cliftonville arrive in town - with McGibbon aware that goodwill could be at stake alongside Irish League points.

“After two poor performances and results at home we must appreciate that goodwill can only go so far for the fans,” said the Ports boss.

“When I arrived as manager I wanted to strengthen that unity between the supporters and the players and we have made progress in that area on and off the pitch.

“However, the most important thing is that the players on the pitch come out fighting for the club and show that commitment to the shirt.

“As a manager, I am ready to make those hard calls on selection as we have been in a battle for points from day one.

“The Mid-Ulster Cup may not be a priority for the club this season because of the need to claw back the 12-point league deduction. However, players have been given opportunities to show what they can do and not produced.

“Results like this week damage the perception of the club from the outside but we also have to address the important things.”