Craig MacGillivray: Portsmouth can’t blame failed promotion bid on playing budget

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Craig MacGillivray refused to use Pompey's playing budget as the reason why they missed out on promotion. 

The Blues have been forced to settle for a third successive season in League One after suffering play-off semi-final defeat to Sunderland last week.

Boss Kenny Jackett had to operate with a much smaller kitty than his Black Cats counterpart Jack Ross.

But it took a magnificent strike from Chris Maguire at the Stadium of Light to separate the sides over two legs.

MacGillivray insisted Pompey’s squad was more than good enough to reach the Championship.

READ MORE: Our average player ratings for Pompey's 2018-19 League One season

Craig MacGillivray, left, and Alex Bass. Picture: Joe Pepler

Craig MacGillivray, left, and Alex Bass. Picture: Joe Pepler

And the keeper stressed the Blues’ transfer kitty played no part in their failure to finish higher than fourth in the League One table.

'I don’t think budgets have anything to do with it,’ MacGillivray said. 

'With the squad we have, this squad is more than capable to cope with this league.

'It is up there with one of the best teams in the league.

'So no, I don't think budgets have a part to play in it.

'When you get into the play-offs, it comes down to that little bit of luck, a bit of quality here and there and Sunderland had that.’

Despite Jackett’s troops missing out on the Championship, MacGillivray felt it was still a fairly successful campaign.

The popular stopper feels Pompey can take heart from a fourth-place finish and their Checkatrade Trophy triumph.

He added: ‘I wouldn’t say it was 100 per cent successful because we wanted to be promoted.

‘That was the ultimate aim.

‘But to finish fourth, be in the top two for three-and-a-half months, the top six near enough all season and to win the Checkatrade Trophy – yes there’s controversy about the tournament but you wouldn't have said that when there was 85,000 at Wembley.

‘So when the dust settles then it hasn't been a negative season.’