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Work your shocks off

Paddy McLaughlin has questioned whether there really is such a thing as a shock result in the Danske Bank Premiership anymore.

Speaking ahead of Cliftonville’s trip to Portadown, the Manager argues that the regularity with which upsets have come along this season means no team can ever take anything for granted – and points to the Ports’ midweek draw against Larne as an example.

The outcome of that game will, however, help focus his side’s preparations for tomorrow’s encounter given that it is the Reds’ second consecutive fixture against a team that has just emerged from Inver Park with an unlikely point.

After holding Larne at 1-1 last Saturday, Warrenpoint Town produced a confident display in defeat at Solitude on Tuesday night and McLaughlin expects Portadown to be similarly buoyant when they welcome Cliftonville to Shamrock Park.

“So-called surprise results happen every week, there’s never one shock in a blue moon,” he explains.

“There are almost shocks – if you can still call them that – every week with results you don’t see coming.

“Fair play to Portadown, they’ve really knuckled down over the last few weeks and got some good points on the board, so it’s going to be a tough game for us going there but, on the back of us winning 3-0 against Warrenpoint the other night, we’ll look forward to it.”

January recruit Paul O’Neill made it two goals in three games when he found the net against Point, while Ryan Curran maintained his fine form scoring form with a double and McLaughlin acknowledges the importance of more and more players getting their names on the scoresheet.

“We need goals from all round the pitch,” he adds.

“For too long, Joe Gormley’s been carrying the can for scoring goals here and, unfortunately, he’s going to be missing for a while through injury so it’s important that the rest of the boys step up to the plate and so far the two boys – Ryan Curran and Paul O’Neill – have done that. If we can get one or two more, it would be good for us going forward.”