Pressure all on the Ports says Hoops boss Malone

Colin Malone
Colin Malone

It may be the biggest game in Lurgan Celtic’s history on Saturday, but manager Colin Malone says all the pressure is on Portadown.

The Hoops take part in their first Irish Cup quarter-final at Shamrock Park with no fear, in fact, there is a feeling in the camp they might even spring a surprise.

“Portadown are expected to win while we are hoping to win,” says manager Colin Malone.

“The pressure is all on them and that suits us fine. The only danger for us is that the players are too nervous. Games like this can pass you by. They have never been this far or played in a cup tie like this so it can be all down to what unfolds on the day.

“The key for us is to keep it scoreless for as long as possible because then doubts can creep in and the home fans may get on their backs too.

“If we can keep them at bay to at least half-time then it will suit us perfectly.

“We will be positive and hope that we get a little bit of luck too which you always need in the cup.

“If we are to upset the odds then it will be done with a collective team effort.”

Former Portadown players Josh Barton, Aaron Haire and Shea Conaty are looking forward to the tie with relish.

“If we put the effort in then we will have a real go at them,” said Aaron.

“We have surprised a few people in the league and the cup so things are going well for us at the minute.

“We may be underdogs but I’m going for a 1-0 win for us.”

Shea, who left Shamrock Park in the January transfer window added, “Anyone has a chance in the cup. Portadown are on a bad run but we have nothing to lose. We can win it in extra-time.”

Josh Barton is equally optimistic. “The way Portadown are playing at the minute maybe we can surprise them.”

Fans are reminded this game is not all ticket and supporters will be able to pay at the turnstyles.