Technology over training for Portadown’s Matthew Tipton

The return of Premiership football to Shamrock Park since 2017 ended in disappointment as Coleraine finished in front by 3-0 on an afternoon which featured red cards for both Tipton and striker Lee Bonis.

a man wearing a suit and tie

© Portadown manager Matthew Tipton. Pic by Pacemaker.

With Tipton’s frustration on the dip in player performance levels compared to the previous derby success over Glenavon, he opted for a fresh approach to kick off preparations heading into today’s trip to Warrenpoint Town.

“It’s not about hammering players but I was disappointed in how we failed to do against Coleraine what had worked so well in the Glenavon win,” said Tipton. “Our numbers are limited at present due to injuries and the fact we cannot use the under 20s under the coronavirus restrictions, so decided for a different approach on Monday.

“We sent the players clips from Saturday and asked them to respond with three positives and three negatives of their own individual performance, then an overall point.

“We want players who can think and react to situations and that comes off an understanding of what we ask, so it was useful plus encouraging to see the responses were basically in line with the views of the coaching staff.

“That first session on a Monday always offers some flexibility and it was a good opportunity to review the defeat in a different way.

“For this season we’ve aleady introduced seperate WhatsApp groups for the four units of goalkeepers, defenders, midfielders and forwards.

“Each group has a different coach assigned, so already we’ve been using technology as another way of helping the players.

“Most of the players have been at the club for a decent period of time now so know how we work and what we want from them all, which helps when it comes to reacting and recovering from any setbacks.

“Overall this week in training the reaction to Coleraine has been really positive.

“I’m not interested in simply punishing players for losing a game of football, it’s about learning from what went wrong then using that information to get back on track.”

Warrenpoint Town welcome former manager Matthew Tipton back to Milltown aiming to build on the previous weekend’s 2-0 defeat of Dunngannon Swifts.

It handed Barry Gray and his squad a welcome first win of the Danske Bank Premiership campaign in the aftermath of losing to Crusaders over the opening test of the league season.

Both Warrenpoint and Portadown sit on three points and Gray has highlighted the need for early progress on the board, having previously offered a warning of the risks connected to falling behind the pack across the initial stages given the potential for significant disruption to the schedule due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“It is great to get back to Milltown this weekend after our first win last week against Dungannon,” said Gray on the club’s official website. “The players are all very much looking forward to getting back at it in a bid to make it two in a row.

“Each game in this league is massively competitive and this week against Portadown will be no different, obviously as they are newly promoted we know very little about them, however, this could also work in our favour.

“Our target has always been to get as many points on the board as early in the season as possible so Saturday will be another opportunity to do just that.”

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