MacGillivray: Beware yet more Portsmouth cup final opponents

Craig MacGillivray has stressed the Pompey dangers posed by yet more '˜cup final' opposition.

Thursday, 18th October 2018, 6:16 pm
Updated Thursday, 18th October 2018, 7:25 pm
Craig MacGillivray celebrates Fratton Park victory over Plymouth in September. Picture: Joe Pepler

Kenny Jackett's table-toppers have collected just two points from a possible nine during a lean three-game period at Fratton Park.

On Saturday, sixth-placed Fleetwood venture to the south coast, striving to savour an experience MacGillivray knows only too well.

The keeper conjured up a man-of-the-match display for Shrewsbury during a hard-fought 1-0 away victory at Fratton Park in January.

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Craig MacGillivray celebrates Fratton Park victory over Plymouth in September. Picture: Joe Pepler

Having finished on the winning side against the Blues '“ he then joined them in June as a free agent.

And MacGillivray can comprehend opponents' mindsets during those south-coast trips.

He said: '˜I still think Fratton is a fortress, definitely.

'˜I don't know how last season we (Shrewsbury) came away from that game with three points. There were chances which on another day would have gone into the corner, while in the last minute there was one which just went wide.

'˜It was the same against Gillingham, so many chances, it wouldn't drop, it would just miss the post, when someone slid in it just went out of play.

'˜But for an away team to win at Fratton Park is a huge achievement '“ and it was last year, when I came here with Shrewsbury. It's a huge game, a massive game, it's Fratton Park.

'˜You've also got Valley Parade, the Stadium of Light, big grounds and big teams. For small clubs, in particular, people always seem to step up their games, their minds are on it a little bit more.

'˜I'm now on the other side of that and our job is to not let teams get any points against us at home.

'˜When they turn up it's like their cup final, but because we are at home we can't expect we are going to pick up three points, you can't have that mindset. You have to come into every single game, no matter who you are playing, and focus.'

Despite without a home victory in three matches, the Blues have maintained a three-point gap at the top of League One.

And MacGillivray is convinced Fratton performances haven't been as bad as the run may suggest.

He added: '˜As a Pompey player, you can assess what didn't quite go to plan, what we could do better, but not completely rip up the the bit of paper and say 'Whoops, we need to start again'.

'˜It's not, it's far from that, we are still top of the league, it's one defeat in 13 '“ and hopefully back on the start of a good run.

'˜Yes, okay, there's little things we can improve on at Pompey, but I wouldn't say we have been terrible by any stretch of the imagination.

'˜You look at the last two in particular, we definitely had enough chances to win the game, 100 per cent.'