Play-off pain fuelling Pompey new boy’s promotion hunger

New Pompey keeper Craig MacGillivray
New Pompey keeper Craig MacGillivray
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CRAIG MACGILLIVRAY has revealed how play-off heartache is fuelling his drive for automatic promotion.

Pompey’s new goalkeeper has delivered an insight into the qualities which made Shrewsbury League One’s surprise package last term.

But emulating his former team’s success will not be good enough for the man who arrived on a two-year deal at Fratton Park last week.

MacGillivray spoke of the sickening heartache of the Shrews eventually falling to a play-off final defeat, after shocking the experts by maintaining their flying form for much of the campaign after being tipped for relegation.

The 25-year-old, who will vie for the No1 spot with Luke McGee, isn’t prepared to leave success down to the lottery of the play-offs with Pompey.

MacGillivray said: ‘It was disappointing what happened with Shrewsbury. Very disappointing, and I know Portsmouth have had it against Plymouth.

‘It’s the worst feeling in the world, but you have to turn a negative into a positive and make sure it doesn’t happen again.

‘You have to learn when you get knocked down. It makes you stronger.

‘So when people talk about emulating Shrewsbury’s season – I want next season to be automatic promotion.

‘When we played Portsmouth last there were some very good players on that pitch. Very good players.

‘Probably some of them were technically better than Shrewsbury and have played at a higher level.

‘So I definitely don’t want to go through what I did with Shrewsbury – getting beat right at the end again and staying in League One.

‘I want success at Portsmouth.’

MacGillivray believes there were qualities shown by his former club which can be replicated at Pompey.

He added: ‘At Shrewsbury, the manager brought in quite a few players who weren’t proven, hadn’t had the break and established themselves somewhere. Those players were hungry to showcase what they could do.

‘There was a good – very, very good - camaraderie in the team which massively helps.

‘I had that at Walsall as well when we got beat in the play-offs by Barnsley. That was the same.

‘If you’ve got a good work ethic, camaraderie and everyone’s willing to work hard to prove people wrong, it goes a long way.

‘You obviously have to have that individual talent to bring to the team. But the hard work and togetherness were the foundations of the team’s success.

‘Everyone had us as favourites for relegation and there was a willingness to prove them wrong. It was everywhere. Predicted tables, message boards it was everywhere. So we made a massive thing of that. If you walked into the changing rooms you could see it.

‘That was what everyone was saying was going to happen and it made us want to prove them wrong.’