Jackett: My first Pompey buy starting to prove worth

Pompey's Luke McGee and Christian Walton, who is now at Wigan. Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey's Luke McGee and Christian Walton, who is now at Wigan. Picture: Joe Pepler
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He represents Kenny Jackett’s first financial outlay at the Pompey helm.

And the Blues boss is convinced Luke McGee is already demonstrating his worth during his fledgling south-coast career.

Luke McGee in action against Walsall. Picture: Joe Pepler

Luke McGee in action against Walsall. Picture: Joe Pepler

The highly-regarded goalkeeper arrived from Spurs for an undisclosed fee in July, ending a long-running search to fill the vacancy.

Following David Forde’s return to Millwall and Liam O’Brien’s departure for Coventry City, Jackett had focused his attention on McGee and Brighton’s Christian Walton.

Peterborough’s players’ player of the season emerged as the preferred choice – and has since made six appearances for Pompey.

The 22-year-old’s magnificent display at Wigan, in particular, earned him plaudits as he settles into a position lacking long-term vision in recent years.

That mistake aside (Oxford), he has made an impressive start and just has to build on that

Kenny Jackett

And Jackett has been delighted with his maiden Fratton Park purchase.

He said: ‘It’s always a bit tricky talking about goalkeepers, like a superstition in football I suppose – then they can make a mistake!

‘We look at Luke’s Oxford error but it’s in isolation, he’s had a good season so far and in particular made some great saves at Wigan.

‘If you think this is now his second season at League One level he’s made good strides in his career. We have felt he has a good present and future at Portsmouth.

‘Obviously he has to deliver. While you are developing and learning to do it in the first team, you have to deliver a certain level of performance.

‘That mistake aside (Oxford), he has made an impressive start and just has to build on that.

‘He’s a good player, has a good character, works hard in training and has a good work ethic, which is something I always want in my players.’

McGee made 45 appearances during a successful season-long loan at Peterborough last term.

In the process he made his Football League debut and FA Cup bow, while also featured in the Checkatrade Trophy for the Posh.

Grant McCann’s side finished in a credible 11th spot, with McGee considered to have been one of their best performers.

Certainly the League One club had looked into the possibility of bringing him back, only for Spurs to opt to sell him to Pompey.

At Fratton Park, McGee has come under the guidance of experienced goalkeeping coach John Keeley.

Keeley himself had decided against following former manager Paul Cook to Wigan this summer in favour of remaining to serve the Blues in what is his second spell.

It has prompted the creation of a link-up with McGee which Jackett believes is already starting to bear prodigious fruit.

The Blues boss added: ‘Luke’s got an experienced goalkeeping coach in John Keeley, who I have been very impressed with since working with him.

‘He has helped Luke a lot, I do feel it’s a good combination, a goalkeeping coach of his age and his experience to bring on a goalkeeper.’