Portsmouth boss’ delight with flourishing MacGillivray

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Kenny Jackett believes ‘unlucky’ Craig MacGillivray is finally being allowed to flourish under Pompey’s gaze.

The goalkeeper has proven an astute summer signing following a free transfer arrival from Shrewsbury.

Craig MacGillivray's early Pompey displays have delighted Kenny Jackett. Picture: Andrew Fosker

Craig MacGillivray's early Pompey displays have delighted Kenny Jackett. Picture: Andrew Fosker

Having dislodged Luke McGee, MacGillivray has been an ever-present during the League One campaign’s opening nine fixtures.

At 25 years of age, the Blues have offered the stopper the prized opportunity of regular first-team football he had long craved.

And, having served as back-up at Walsall and the Shrews, Jackett recognises the Scot’s blossoming presence.

Jackett said: ‘I liked Craig last year and saw him a few times. Not just the game against us but I saw him in some others as well.

‘And when I was in the midlands at Wolverhampton, he was up at Walsall.

‘He’s been a little bit unlucky because he has been behind two very good goalkeepers previously and was quite frustrated.

‘But he’s still only 25 and I do feel is now coming into his time – and the experience he’s had so far is being put to good use.

‘Craig is a very consistent keeper and a consistent person.

‘I’ve been impressed with him and been impressed with his attitude, he’s got a really good attitude.

‘He’s a very consistent person, that helps in that position because you do need consistency.

‘It’s hard to be an erratic goalkeeper – where your highs are very high and if your lows are then that low you need a degree of middle ground.

‘He’s a very good professional and a good personality.’

Having represented Harrogate Railway Athletic, Stalybridge Celtic and Harrogate Town, the keeper only arrived in the Football League in the summer of 2014.

Snapped up by Walsall, he served as number two under Richard O’Donnell and then Neil Etheridge, totalling 19 appearances in three seasons.

Then, during a year at Shrewsbury, he featured 14 times behind first choice and Manchester United loanee Dean Henderson, before seeking regular football elsewhere.

Ahead of Saturday’s trip to Rochdale, MacGillivray has turned out nine times so far for Pompey.

And Jackett is delighted with the quality of those early performances for League One’s second-placed side.

The Blues boss added: ‘Craig’s had a good start and we have been pleased with the addition so far, not just his goalkeeping but how he fits into the club and group.

‘He hadn't played often, but that’s scouting, it can be easy to spot the good ones, that is the art – and the risk as well.’

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