Paul Doolin wants motivation to beat the drop to come from proud past glory

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Paul Doolin wants to draw on Portadown’s rich past as inspiration for a relegation rescue mission over two games this week which will define the future of the four-time Irish League champions.

Doolin arrived at Shamrock Park in January as replacement for manager Matthew Tipton with a remit to raise results and stop the rot.

Now the Ports face a derby play-off against neighbours Annagh United to protect senior status.

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And Doolin, who was a key part of Portadown’s proud silverware haul as a player, will deliver a message for the current squad to learn lessons from past trophy-winning sides despite the contrast in fortunes.

Portadown manager Paul Doolin. Pic by Pacemaker.Portadown manager Paul Doolin. Pic by Pacemaker.
Portadown manager Paul Doolin. Pic by Pacemaker.

“Down through the years with all the trophy wins it came down to players able to perform,” he said ahead of visiting Annagh’s Tandragee Road on Tuesday before the home leg this Friday. “It’s at a different level at the moment but those 10 points (won in a four-game run under Doolin) have given us the opportunity.

“I don’t say it lightly - we could have been straight relegated.

“The club has gone through hard times but if we don’t stay in the Premiership it could be even more difficult.

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“We just have to hope we can perform and get those main results now.

“If you want to do anything in is talk but you have to do it.

“You give Annagh the respect and there’s no way we will underestimate them.

“They finished second in the Championship so obviously have something about them.

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“It’s a responsiblity for the players, the staff and myself to keep the club in the Premiership.

“You have to’s the same as when going for leagues or trophies - you have to perform.

“But we are still here and have given ourselves the opportunity for these two play-off games.

“You’ve got make sure every player who walks out on the pitch is prepared to give everything.

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“The only way we can take the club forward is to try and stay in the Premiership, we will be doing our utmost.”

And Doolin’s focus remains on the Annagh challenge over his personal future as Ports boss.

“We’re not talking abouy anything other than making sure the club stays’s a responsibility,” he said. “It isn’t really about’s that the players go out and make sure the club stays in the Premiership.

“Since I’ve come in, everyone around the club has been great to the same way as when I was here last time as a player.

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“When I came in first the task was to stay in the league - the task is still there.

“We still have to do it.

“Others could have stormed in after getting 10 points and asked for two years - I’ve said I’m here until the end of the season then we’ll take it from there.

“That’s always been the way and that hasn’t changed.

“Not once did we discuss anything and we won’t be until the end of the season next Friday.

“We’ve two legs but we have to concentrate on the first fixture on Tuesday as it’s one game at a time.

“You play Tuesday first then take it from there.”

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