Matthew Tipton’s focus on small gains and small margins for Portadown

Portadown manager Matthew Tipton is looking beyond the weekend loss to Linfield and turning his focus to the performance as his players continue to adapt to Premiership football.

Monday, 29th March 2021, 1:00 pm

In a season now absent of relegation concerns, Tipton is determined to maximise the minor gains towards major long-term progress with his young newly-promoted panel.

Having shipped five goals in a midweek defeat to Carrick Rangers from a 2-0 leading position, Tipton was encouraged by improvements within Saturday’s 1-0 defeat against league leaders Linfield

“I’m disappointed with the defeat but fairly pleased with the performance,” said Tipton. “But we have to show that same mentality in every game.

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Linfield’s Cameron Palmer (left) battling with Stephen Teggart on Saturday. Pic by Pacemaker.

“Nine times out of 10 this season it has been the right level of performance but we will get punished for the one that’s not right.

“We are not good enough to turn it on and off, so then it’s about putting bodies on the line and blocking shots and showing that belief.

“The goal we conceded was frustrating as we had cleared the initial delivery then tried to head away but it went back towards our goal with us pushing out.

“It dropped behind us and we were hacking away attempting to get the connection but it fell for a Linfield player.

“Jordan Stewart was expecting it to drop for him and we had a similar situation when Adam McCallum hit the Linfield crossbar but we were on our heels a bit.

“Those are the small margins but that’s why Linfield are top of the league.

“But we conceded five goals during the week against Carrick Rangers, with set-piece after set-piece...then today, in this weather with such a strong wind, Linfield were able to bombard us with set-pieces.

“But we coped quite well overall and always felt we had a threat on the counter-attack.

“It was a battle all night but never backs to the wall.

“Jacob Carney made a great save towards the end and they had a goal chalked off but we created our own opportunities.

“Sometimes you’ve got to accept you are coming up against a team better than you but we put a shift in and restricted Linfield.

“It wasn’t a case of not creating opportunities today...more just that we didn’t get the goal.”

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