Pompey’s ‘model professional’ has fully deserved his maiden Scotland international call-up.
That’s the verdict of Gareth Evans, following team-mate Craig MacGillivray’s inclusion in Steve Clarke’s squad for forthcoming Euro 2020 qualifiers.
MacGillivray will compete with Wigan’s David Marshall and Sunderland’s Jon McLaughlin for Scotland’s goalkeeping jersey against Russia (September 6) and Belgium (September 9).
It’s the latest significant landmark for the 26-year-old, who had demonstrated outstanding progress since a free-transfer arrival from Shrewsbury in June 2018.
And Evans is delighted to see the Scot reaping the rewards of his impressive Pompey endeavours.
The Blues’ vice-captain said: ‘It’s thoroughly deserved, Craig has been brilliant since he first came into the club.
‘He is probably one of the most professional keepers I have worked with, so it’s good he’s reaping the rewards, he has been on good form for Pompey.
‘The way he lives his life off the field, he looks after himself, he’s always in the gym, always doing extra training – the model professional.
‘Craig is one of – if not the – best keepers I’ve played with at Pompey and some of the saves he pulled off last season and the beginning of this is testament to how good he is.
‘He has improved since he has come through the door, he works hard in the gym, doing his extras, getting better and improving as much as he can.
‘John Keeley has worked a lot on his distribution and he is getting better and better.
‘Secretly he was desperate to get that call-up and the boys are really chuffed. Congratulations to him.’