Ronnie McFall up for the fight as Portadown target points

Portadown manager Ronnie McFall
Portadown manager Ronnie McFall

Ronnie McFall admits Portadown have a mountain to climb in this season’s title race – but he is prepared to face the challenge head-on.

The Ports are a hefty 10 points adrift of leaders Crusaders with eight games remaining.

It is a sizeable gulf for McFall and his players as the race for the Gibson Cup intensifies.

Next up for Portadown is the visit of Glentoran to Shamrock Park on Saturday afternoon.

And McFall hopes his players can continue building momentum following back-to-back wins over Linfield in the league and Irish Cup.

“Being realistic, we have 10 points to make up which is a big gap,” he said.

“But in football, anything can happen. So you never know.

“Our next focus is on getting three points next week against Glentoran. That’s all we can do.”

Portadown will meet Ballymena United in the semi-finals of the Irish Cup in March 21.

The competition presents a genuine shot at silverware this season, but McFall is refusing to take his eye off the Premiership run-in.

“We won’t be solely concentrating on the Irish Cup. We have a game against Glentoran and Dungannon Swifts before that cup game.

“The two wins against Linfield are big results for us. We were missing key players in the league win at Windsor Park.

“Twigg and McAllister were not 100 per cent fit for last week’s cup game, and Ken Oman wasn’t registered in time for the Irish Cup.

“We have big players missing, which makes it difficult for a squad of our size.

“But we came away with two big wins, and that breeds confidence.

“I can’t remember the last time we beat Linfield twice in a row – if ever.

“That’s three times we have beaten them this season, and I can’t remember that happening.

“It has been a big week for us, and it keeps our season alive.

“Being realistic, the league is between Crusaders and Linfield. We are 10 points adrift which is a big gap.

“So the Irish Cup is our only genuine chance of a trophy, and it was vital we reached the semi-finals.

“But we long as it is mathematically possible for us to win the league, we will keep fighting away.”

McFall also praised the quality of striker Gary Twigg who bagged a classy brace in last week’s cup win over Linfield.

“Twigg is quality – he gets goals in the big matches. And his two finishes today were fantastic.

“He has scored some great goals for us, and the second one was pretty special. But that’s what he does.”