Ports players back new man at the helm Currie

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Niall Currie (second from left)

His side takes on Cliftonville in tomorrow's Danske Bank Premiership

Portadown players are backing the appointment of new boss Niall Currie ahead of his first game in charge on Saturday.

The former Ards manager has a baptism of fire in the Danske Bank Premiership, taking the basement club to third-placed Cliftonville.

But his team are right behind him - left-back Matty Parker coming up, after goalkeeper Chris McGaughey

Also this week, with the league at the half-way stage, leaders Crusaders travel to Ballinamallard with second-placed Linfield taking on Ards in Bangor.

First team coach John Bailie is in caretaker charge of the north Down side after Niall Currie's departure.

Defender Emmet Friars says they'll need a big improvement against the Blues after two heavy defeats already this season at the hands of David Healy's men.

Glentoran are at home to Ballymena United. 

It marks a return to the Oval for ex-Linfield manager David Jeffrey.

Here's Glens boss, former Sky Blues hero Gary Haveron.

In the other games, Coleraine go to Glenavon and Dungannon Swifts host Carrick Rangers.

They all kick-off at 3pm.

Meanwhile the Northern Ireland Football League has announced an increase in attendances around the league for the first half of the season compared with last year.

More than 12,000 additional fans came through the turnstiles when compared with the same period last season.

With 116,548 fans in total so far after 19 rounds of matches, this shows an increase of over 12% from the first half of the 2015/16 season.

NIFL Managing Director Andrew Johnston is delighted with these latest attendance figures but is not surprised to see yet another increase.

“We have been aware that attendances have been rising but to show an increase of over 12% for the first half of this season is fantastic,” said Johnston.

“I have to praise the clubs in doing an excellent job in promoting their games but especially for the fantastic work they do through sponsorship initiatives and community work in their local areas.”

Since the beginning of the 2013/14 season, overall attendances in the DB Premiership have increased by 25%.


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