LUKE McGEE has been backed to respond to being usurped by Stephen Henderson.
And Pompey boss Kenny Jackett has explained his reasoning behind making Henderson his No1.
Jackett has chosen to install Henderson as his new senior keeper following his deadline-day arrival on loan from Nottingham Forest for the rest of the campaign.
McGee has been established in that position this term – making 35 appearances and missing just one first-team game.
The 22-year-old arrived from Spurs in the summer as first choice, but Jackett is now opting for an older head in the role.
The Blues boss stated he’s now looking for greater experience between the sticks.
Jackett said: ‘We’ve gone through with two young goalkeepers and it’s an experienced position.
‘For Luke, I’ve been pleased with him but sometimes you need to take a step back to go two forward. That will be the case with him.
‘We’ve been reliant on two young keepers across the first half of the season, and we did want to change that.
‘Getting the right keeper is a part of the promotion equation in terms of squad planning.’
Henderson will make his second Pompey debut against Doncaster tomorrow, after 27 appearances in the 2011-12 season.
That means McGee’s 100-per-cent league record will come to a close at Fratton Park.
Alex Bass is now set to be sent out on loan, with a non-league outfit his expected destination.
Jackett told how he feels an older keeper will provide additional presence and assurance for his back four.
He added: ‘The experienced keeper coming in has been a good one for us.
‘We’ve been very young in a key area in the first half of the season.
‘Henderson’s a player I’ve been aware of and keen on for some time, without really having the opportunity to bring him in.
‘He comes back to the club with lots of enthusiasm to play.
‘He established himself here and I feel in a key area he gives us experience, leadership qualities, some talking and presence in our box which at times we’ve lacked. We’re pleased with that.
‘He’s a player we’ve been looking at for some time and he brings leadership in a key area. That’s key to the whole group.’
- JORDAN CROSS