Port boss Papirnyk happy with positive form ahead of Boxing Day clash with Citizens
Porthmadog manager Craig Papirnyk has made clear his excitement ahead of the Boxing Day clash against Bangor City, as both sides look to close the gap on runaway leaders Airbus UK.
Port head into the game in good form, having won all of their previous five games in the Huws Gray Alliance.
The Gwynedd side saw off Llanrhaedr in their previous outing, a game which Papirnyk was happy with: “Llanrhaedr was a very pleasing performance and to win away from home this time of year is never easy.
In the past we’ve dropped points on poorer pitches, and given Saturday’s conditions, the win was all the more special!”
The manager is happy with how the squad is growing: “The side we have now are proving that they’re maturing and can mix it when needed and understand that we can’t always play nice football.
This group have the ability to adapt and their performances are proof of this.”
Porthmadog’s unbeaten run will be put to the test when they host Bangor City on Boxing Day, as they look to complete the double over the Citizens; whom they beat 2-1 at Nantporth in August.
Papirnyk is looking forward to welcoming Gary Taylor-Fletcher’s side to Y Traeth: “I must admit I always look for the Christmas games straight away when the season’s fixtures are announced.
“It’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but for me, I love football at this time of year.”
I was excited when I saw we had Bangor on Boxing Day, and that excitement is still there now, it’s a massive fixture and one I hope will be well supported.”
The 34-year-old believes Bangor have now adapted to the Huws Gray Alliance after a difficult start to the season, and has no doubt that the Citizens will challenging for promotion at the end of the season.
“Bangor have certainly picked up in form in the last couple of months, and have settled more to the standard of the league.”
“It wasn’t a great start for them, but I have no doubts that with the squad they have, they will be near the top come the end of the season.”
“They have gone through a transition, and with Gary Taylor-Fletcher now back at the helm, it can only mean good things for them going forward.”
“I am expecting a very tough game, as will anyone who comes up against Bangor this season.”
The former Bala Town forward is pleased with how his side have started the season, but isn’t getting carried away heading into the New Year: “We have been going well for some time now, and have managed to remain a lot more consistent this season.”
“In the past, this has been our biggest problem and we’ve let ourselves down massively because of it.”
“However this group I have now are without doubt the best I’ve had since becoming manager. They have a little bit of everything about them as individuals, and collectively they are strong and well balanced.”
Papirnyk, who took over as Porthmadog manager in 2014, is aware that it will be a tough task to catch leaders Airbus: “We are under no illusions that to catch Airbus would be a massive mountain to climb, not only for us, but for everyone chasing them.
“I don’t see them throwing away enough points between now and the end of the season.”
“We will continue to take each game as it comes and see where that takes us. The ambition is to always be competing at the top end, and at this current time we are on target – so I am very pleased.”
(Featured image: Naomi Jones of Bala Town F.C.)