LUKE McGEE is convinced some hard truths and John Keeley’s coaching methods will bring the best out of him.
The Pompey goalkeeper turned in his best performance since his summer arrival from Spurs as he pulled off several high-class saves to keep the Blues in the game in Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Wigan.
It was further evidence of the 21-year-old’s potential and was a welcomed display after some soul-searching in the wake of the recent 3-0 loss at Oxford United.
McGee accepted his error had proved costly in that defeat but an honest assessment, some technical discussion with the Blues goalkeeping coach Keeley and a strong work ethic have helped him move on.
He said: ‘When you make a mistake, as I did at Oxford, you have to look at it closely and work on it.
‘There’s no point in brushing over it as there will be nothing to stop it happening again.
‘I watched replays of it a few times and it shouldn’t have happened.
‘I held my hands up on the day and worked hard to try to stop it from happening again.
‘As a goalkeeper, you know there will be days like that (at Oxford) but there will also be days like the one at Wigan.
‘You can’t get too low when you make a mistake or too high when you make a few saves.’
McGee paid tribute to his new mentor, who rejoined the club for a second spell last year after previously working under Steve Cotterill.
McGee said: ‘He (Keeley) is one of the most enthusiastic people I have ever worked with.
‘He has made a couple of points he felt I could improve on, which is fair.
‘But he deserves a lot of credit as I feel I am improving all the time.
‘He’s given me great backing and is very supportive. Keels will never tell you “this is something you need to do”.
‘But he will make suggestions on what I need. He understands that keepers are different and have different strengths and weaknesses.
‘He has embraced what I like to do and has also got me doing different things in training to what I’m used to doing.
‘We talked about a few things and he said “let’s give it a go for a few days and if it isn’t working, then we will try something else”.
‘You then see it working and you see the reasons behind it.’
And there was tangible proof that Keeley’s attention to detail has made an impact with McGee’s fine stop to deny a long-range drive - the highlight of his collection from the DW Stadium.
‘I was probably most pleased with that save low down to my left against Wigan as that has sometimes been a weaker area of my game in the past,’ the shotstopper added.
‘Myself and Keelo have worked on that a lot recently, so it was nice to see that work paying off.’