A run of one draw and four consecutive Bluefin Sport Championship triumphs since Tipton’s appointment has turned the promotion dream into a reality.
If the Tipton revolution results in a rescue mission previously considered beyond reach it would prove a remarkable turnaround in fortune for a Ports side ranked as pre-season title favourites but one which often appeared to struggle with that weight of expectation.
The ideas introduced by Tipton and his coaching team have been embraced by players and fans across the past seven weeks - serving as the early stages of a foundation towards long-term progress that allows Portadown to play out the season free from pressure.
“To now know two wins would get us into the promotion play-off spot is credit to the hard work of the players and support from everyone at the club since we arrived,” said Tipton. “It is a position many realistically did not expect us to achieve but all we could have asked from such a short space of time in the job.
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“Now we are here it is about going out and keeping faith in the attacking approach which has allowed us to reach this point.
“But our goals remain long-term objectives for the club, with the positive work going on by those teams below us so encouraging.
“So we face Newry with complete freedom to just go out and enjoy that match then the final game.
“Our approach has been to focus on the hard work and see what happens, so there is no need to change that viewpoint now things have turned around to put us so close to the promotion play-off.
“The league table does not lie and Newry sit second on merit as a fantastic group of players enjoying a great season.
“But they will face us in the knowledge that a defeat would hand the title to Institute and also open up the play-off situation as they tackle Harland and Wolff Welders across those final two games.
“Essentially the season is now coming down to one week of football but we probably stand unique in that there is no pressure on Portadown.
“If Newry’s season would collapse then that is a massive blow given how they have been competing at the top for so long, whereas our position is really a bonus for the work put in towards building for the future.
“We have five busloads of fans hitting the road so can draw inspiration from the crowd on Friday night and they will continue to play a massive part in giving our players confidence to just enjoy the rest of the season.”