IRISH LEAGUE: Interim manager Pat McGibbon calls for character from faltering Portadown

Warrenpoint's Mark Hughes takes on Chris Casement and Garry Breen
Warrenpoint's Mark Hughes takes on Chris Casement and Garry Breen

Interim boss Pat McGibbon has warned his players that reputation counts for nothing as Portadown slumped further into the relegation mire on Saturday.

A 3-1 defeat to basement club Warrenpoint Town was the latest malaise for the misfiring Ports.

It leaves the Shamrock Park men just five points off the bottom of the table and firmly in a relegation dogfight with six games remaining.

Marcio Soares hag given Portadown the lead, but goals from Conor McDonald and Stephen Murray (2) sealed a massive win at the bottom for Barry Gray’s side.

“We have a group of players who are used to being at the top end of the table. They have a winning mentality,” McGibbon said.

“But reputation counts for nothing and if the players are prepared to let the season fizzle out then we will be wedged in a relegation battle.

“This group has been down for a long time, and if you concede silly goals then you will always be facing an uphill battle.

“It will be the same every week until you fix those problems.”

Warrenpoint boss Gray hailed his side’s performance at Shamrock Park.

Town have won six of their last 10 Premiership fixtures to give themselves a fighting chance of survival this season.

“When we got the third goal we knew it was a killer blow in the game,” Gray said.

“It was vital that we bounced back as soon as possible after losing our last two games.

“We didn’t want that to fester and develop into a longer of run of negative results.

“So to get a win as we approach the split is a massive boost, and it should give the players plenty of encouragement.

“We play Linfield on Tuesday and then we have five massive games against the other teams at the bottom of the table.

“They are all cup finals for us, but we will take confidence into those games.”