IRISH LEAGUE: Pat McGibbon admits stability is key after being named Portadown’s new manager

Pat McGibbon. Pic by PressEye Ltd.
Pat McGibbon. Pic by PressEye Ltd.
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Pat McGibbon hopes his appointment as Portadown’s permanent manager can inject some stability into the crisis-hit club.

The Shamrock Park giants confirmed McGibbon on a two-year deal on Thursday night, despite the former defender only managing one win from eight games since taking over as caretaker boss back in March.

It has been a season of upheaval for the Ports, who remain wedged in a relegation dogfight going into tomorrow’s final round of games in the Danske Bank Premiership.

McGibbon’s appointment also comes ahead of Friday’s verdict on the IFA Appeals’ Board hearing into two charges of “bringing the game into disrepute”.

The Ports were recently hit with a £10,000 fine and transfer embargo – which prevents the club from signing players on professional contracts until June 2017.

Despite uncertainty hanging over Portadown’s Premiership future, McGibbon insists he is relishing the challenging of taking up the reins of the Mid Ulster club.

“I am delighted to be named as Portadown’s new manager. It was important that a decision was made, and I am very happy to be part of it – Portadown is still a big name,” said McGibbon, who will be assisted by Vinny Arkins and Trevor Williamson.

“Stability is required for the club to start moving forward and I am happy to have agreed a two-year deal

“There are so many good people connected to the club, from the Board of Directors to the volunteers and supporters.

“We want the players to buy into a vision we are looking to put in place and confirmation of this move as permanent manager gives me assurances and the foundation to move forward.”

McGibbon’s primary focus will be on tomorrow’s crucial Premiership showdown with Ballymena United.

The Ports currently sit ninth in the Premiership table but could still be sucked into the relegation mire if they lose at the Showgrounds.

“Obviously the role of the management team at the minute is to help prepare the players for Saturday’s game but, as permanent manager, I can also start looking to the future,” McGibbon added.

“Although I did not sign any of the players currently at the club, we can now start the process of planning for the future with this squad and possible summer targets.

“I think it is also a boost to have this confirmed before Saturday’s important match at Ballymena.”

McGibbon was installed as caretaker boss following the resignation of legendary figure Ronnie McFall on March 5.

The club said: “The Board have been very impressed with Pat’s approach in the managers role and feel that Pat and his current backroom team are best placed to rebuild the playing squad and bring the club forward.”