Greg Hall giving Portadown’s January signings clear message over derby pain game

Portadown have handed out debuts to nine January signings in the eight games since derby day humiliation with the home loss to nine-man Glenavon.

By Patrick Van Dort
Friday, 11th February 2022, 7:00 pm
Updated Friday, 11th February 2022, 7:14 pm

As a result, this weekend’s squad for Mourneview Park will feature a string of players without any baggage from that December pain.

However, preparations leading up to the Lurgan test have included plenty of in-house references back to the 1-0 reverse.

“Around the last game there was so much talk leading up to everything because of a full house at Shamrock Park for the first Mid-Ulster festive derby in years,” said Greg Hall, who featured in that match and is one of the longest-serving players on the books. “We went out and failed to deliver and it was hard to take because of all the sacrifices you make around the Christmas holidays and importance of the game.

Portadown’s Greg Hall (left). Pic by Pacemaker.

“We’ve different players in the squad now but those January signings will be told all about what it means.

“Already we’ve talked to them about what happened and everything around Saturday.”

Another key change will be in the dug-out following Paul Doolin’s arrival as Ports boss after the exit by Matthew Tipton.

A midweek draw with 10-man Glentoran off a late equaliser marked the first goal scored and first point won under Doolin.

“Paul has come in and not changed an awful lot over just a few training sessions together...but it’s a clean slate for everyone,” said Hall. “He’s very demanding in training and hands-on, there’s a real intensity and he will not allow standards to drop.

“It was only a point on Tuesday against Glentoran but, under the circumstances, felt almost like more so offers everyone a boost.

“We’ve not been able to give the fans much to celebrate this season - and too often it’s been a case of conceding a late goal not scoring one.

“I know our two wins have come on the road but, overall, we’ve been able to take points off the teams higher up at home but poor away.

“Now we go into Saturday off a lift from midweek and it’s a massive derby.”

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