Matthew Tipton’s full faith in Portadown attacking strength

Portadown boss Matthew Tipton is backing his forwards to bounce back from the frustration of a blank at Carrick.

Saturday, 25th September 2021, 2:00 am

A 1-0 defeat last weekend has left the Ports with a sole point from the first five fixtures of the Premiership season.

The return from that derby draw with Glenavon arrived on the opening night but was followed by defeats to Crusaders, Larne, Linfield and Carrick Rangers.

Although unable to find the net from road trips to tackle the Crues and Carrick, Shamrock Park performances have produced plenty of drama with injury-time goals and end-to-end action.

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Portadown manager Matthew Tipton. Pic by Pacemaker.

Now the Ports face another derby test with the visit of a Dungannon Swifts side without a point as the top-flight’s bottom side.

“I still have faith in our attacking options, despite what was a bad day against Carrick,” said Tipton. “I actually think, in my time as Portadown manager going to Carrick, it was the best we’ve played in terms of control and how our goalkeeper didn’t really have a save to make in open play.

“We hit the bar and post in the first half but then went a goal down and that gave Carrick something to defend.

“The frustration came from our response to that and how we lacked the composure to cut them open or deliver the right ball at the right time.

“We made attacking substitutions and finished with four forwards on the pitch but it all seemed too drastic and with efforts over the bar or from too far out rather than really making their keeper work.

“But that does not mean I stop backing my forwards to put away chances and you only have to look at the previous games going into Carrick to see how we created opportunities against Larne and Linfield.

“I think we are at our best when on the frontfoot and we know we can pose an attacking threat to anyone.

“But although the performances have been encouraging overall, we need a win so it’s about making it count when you get chances.

“But when up against Larne and Linfield we were full of energy and managed to keep the ball alive around the box, so it’s about getting back to that approach compared to what all felt a bit rushed against Carrick.”

Portadown will use the home game to pay respect to former player Kevin McKeever.

McKeever, who died during the week, played in some of the club’s most successful sides during the 1990s.

Former team-mates of McKeever’s have been invited to attend the game as part of the club tribute.

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