Portadown boss Ronnie McFall throws down the gauntlet to his players

Portadown boss Ronnie McFall
Portadown boss Ronnie McFall

Ronnie McFall is looking for a response from his boys when they face in-form Crusaders at Shamrock Park on Saturday.

McFall’s Portadown started their Danske Bank Premiership campaign by blitzing title favourites Linfield, but then slumped to two disappointing defeats against champions Cliftonville and Ballymena United.

Even with most of his big guns back from suspension, the Ports were second best to a rejuvenated United side that proudly sit at the top of the table.

“We have to have a reaction that goes without saying,” said McFall.

“We started brilliantly, but failed to reach the level of performance over the next two matches.

“This will be another big test. Crusaders are a big physical side – you never get it easy against them, so we are expecting another battle. We must match them in terms of physical strength.”

McFall is confident his boys will click, sooner rather than later.

He has one of the most lethal strike forces in the league in Darren Murray, Gary Twigg and Mark McAllister.

“We had four boys back from suspension last weekend, but we were out-fought and out-thought at Ballymena,” he added.

“We changed the shape of the side, which worked well in pre-season, but it hasn’t worked in recent games. That’s now behind us.

“We must look at where it went wrong. We were lacking the team spirit that played such a huge part in the win over Linfield. It’s important to get back to a winning mentality.”