Alan Knight: Portsmouth keeper Craig MacGillivray unlucky to miss out on Scotland selection

Craig MacGillivray has been backed to make a Scotland breakthrough next season if he continues his outstanding form.

Wednesday, 29th May 2019, 9:57 am
League One - Portsmouth vs Rochdale - 13/04/19 Portsmouths Craig MacGillivray

Fratton Park legend Alan Knight believes the Pompey keeper is unlucky not to have been included in Steve Clarke’s first squad for the Tartan Army’s Euro 2020 qualifiers next month.

MacGillivray enjoyed a superb maiden campaign as the Blues narrowly missed out on League One promotion.

Arriving on a free transfer from Shrewsbury, the 26-year-old kept 17 clean sheets in 56 appearances.

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League One - Portsmouth vs Rochdale - 13/04/19 Portsmouths Craig MacGillivray

However, Clarke has selected Scott Bain (Celtic), Liam Kelly (Livingston), David Marshall (Hull), Jon McLaughlin (Sunderland) in his set-up for the upcoming games against Cyprus and Belgium.

Knight feels the new Scotland boss hasn't had the time to thoroughly survey the players available, after only taking the reins nine days ago. 

And Pompey's record appearance holder insists MacGillivray will catch Clarke’s eye should he impress during the 2019-20 campaign.

‘He’s been a bit unlucky, especially after such a good season,’ said Knight.

‘If he can maintain his form from last season then I’m sure the new manager will have to take notice.

‘It might have worked against Craig with the new manager coming in and is probably going with what he knows and what he’s seen. 

‘That’s probably what has gone against him. But I’m sure once the manager gets himself settled he’ll be able to have a better look around and more time to see what is about to make a choice from. 

‘I think Craig can be disappointed and rightly so because places are up for grabs.

'But if his second season is as good as his first one then I’m sure he’ll have a great opportunity of getting in there.’

MacGillivray arrived with fewer than 30 Football League appearances last summer, after serving as No2 at Walsall and Shrewsbury.

But featuring in every League One minute for the Blues this term, Knight was highly impressed with the stopper’s consistency.

He added: ‘I was interested to see how his season would go.

‘Craig played well against us for Shrewsbury but didn’t play a lot because Dean Henderson was first choice.

‘It was interesting to see how he’d continue what he did against us and ended up playing every league game.

‘He was consistent and that’s the big thing with goalkeeping.

‘I don’t remember him making any real howlers. There are some goals he’d have thought he could have done better – but every goalkeeper does.

‘He was consistent, as was that back five.

‘He had a very good season and would have picked up a few player-of-the-season awards had it not been for Matt Clarke.’