It wasn't supposed to be this way, as back-to-back draws against title challengers Linfield and Crusaders would have left Portadown fans expectant of at least being competitive against Mid-Ulster rivals Glenavon.

As it turned out, Ports fans had little to celebrate as they were put to the sword by the current Irish Cup holders but stepping back from the hysteria, Portadown should take stock of their position.

In Niall Currie, they have a manager who has proven his ability to get clubs out of the second tier of Irish football at his previous club Ards and also it's worth noting the circumstances where the manager has both hands tied behind his back.

Since the beginning of the season, Portadown have been unable to sign players on professional contracts after a registration breach involving Peter McMahon, they were also given a 12-point deduction from the start of the season as well as substantial fines from the previous campaign.

In many ways, the club’s current fall is the rock-bottom position following the slow stagnation Portadown have endured for a few seasons – the darkest moment the resignation of long-serving manager Ronnie McFall after last season's humiliating Irish Cup defeat to second-tier Lurgan Celtic. It's no surprise that it was difficult for players to motivate themselves from the start this season with the demoralising state of the club around them.

However, the thing about hitting rock-bottom is once you are there, the only way is up. In reality, years of just lingering above relegation will do Portadown no good and a year rebuilding in the second tier, returning to a winning feeling and a positive energy around the club, whilst carrying out the much needed surgery on the first team.

There is still an outside chance Portadown will stay up but taking the long-term view and viewing a stay out of the Irish League as a chance to rebuild, rather than a disaster, would be the smart approach.

Crowds have held up well for Portadown and if they want to take inspiration from a club who took one step back to take two steps forward, then only need to look across the water to Scotland and see how Hibs have rebuilt themselves. You can acknowledge that the size of the clubs is obviously different but the positive energy around Hibs, rebuilding a winning mentality and securing a Scottish Cup win in the time they've been in the second tier and you'd be hard pushed to find a Hibs fan who thinks they'd be in better shape if they had just clung onto survival, year-after-year.

Overall, Portadown fans have every right to feel miserable and may be wondering when the dark clouds that surround their club will be lifted but if the club takes a measured approach. The good times for the Ports are just around the corner.