Portadown boss Ronnie McFall blasts players

Warrenpoint's John McGuigan 'and Portadown's Ross Redman
Warrenpoint's John McGuigan 'and Portadown's Ross Redman

Portadown manager Ronnie McFall was far from happy with what he felt was a poor attitude from his players after they were held to a scoreless draw by second bottom Warrenpoint at Milltown on Saturday.

The Ports slipped out of the top three in the Premiership standings as they failed to follow up last week’s Irish Cup semi-final win over Ballymena United with a league victory over a Warrenpoint side who they have failed to beat on three occasions this season.

“I thought in the first half we could have been two or three goals up,” bemoaned McFall.

“You’re talking gilt-edged chances here. You’re not even talking about half chances. In the second half, we started pushing and they had a couple of chances on the break, but equally we had chances as well. If you don’t score goals, you don’t win matches, it’s as simple as that

“Whether they are a bogey team or not, I don’t know. Maybe it’s our attitude. After a super performance and result last week in the cup, you’re coming down here and mentally, players are saying that it’s only a matter of turning up but it’s never like that. It’s a disappointing result and performance from us.

“They’ve got to be professional and take each game as it comes because nobody knows what’s going to happen between now and the second of May.

“They have got to just focus on the games in hand and take it from there. The cup final will take care of itself. It has to be on the backburner and we just have to concentrate on the league games and forget about the Irish Cup.”

While it was a lively encounte there were only sporadic goalscoring opportunities with Peter McMahon failing to convert when well-placed for Portadown in the first half.

Daniel Hughes missed after being forced wide for Warrenpoint in the second period before ‘Point keeper Jonny Parr made a brilliant reaction stop to deny Gary Twigg the winner from point blank range late on.

Warrenpoint boss Barry Gray was pleased with the performance and feels that if his side can replicate it and add goals, they will avoid relegation this season.

“We’re very pleased. While it was a 0-0 scoreline and not a great game from the spectators’ point of view, it was a brilliant game from our point of view. We were nice and solid, we got a clean sheet and the players carried out everything that we asked them to do. It’s back to the Warrenpoint you expect,” he enthused.

“Pre-game, you would have loosely said that the performance was almost more important for us than the result but when you have it at 0-0, you want to go on and win it. There have been big questions asked of the players, the staff and to the club as to whether we deserve to be at the level we are. In the last five or six games, we haven’t shown that, but it was back today. It’s now about keeping that sort of performance level. The frustrating thing from my point of view is that we turned it on today but for the last six weeks we haven’t.

“Everyone else has been defeated today. It’s only a point but I think the important thing for us in the changing room is the manner in which we got the point. Portadown are pushing for the European place.

“We’ve played them three times and we’re undefeated. That’s only one stat against one team and if we had that stat against more teams, we wouldn’t be in the scenario we are now. But there are more positives today and the players are going away relatively confident.