Kenny Jackett: Rangers loanee Ross McCrorie will shake up my Portsmouth midfield options

Ross McCrorie will shake up Pompey’s holding-midfield options.

By Neil Allen
Wednesday, 17th July 2019, 1:46 pm
Updated Wednesday, 17th July 2019, 8:26 pm
Ross McCrorie heads the ball clear against UCD, his only Pompey outing so far. Picture: Arnold Byrne
Ross McCrorie heads the ball clear against UCD, his only Pompey outing so far. Picture: Arnold Byrne

That's the verdict of Kenny Jackett, who is convinced the Rangers loanee can make a crucial contribution in his favoured 4-2-3-1.

Permitted to have last weekend off, McCrorie’s sole outing since his arrival remains the first half of the 11-0 victory over UCD.

Yet the Scot is under consideration to face Stevenage on Saturday as Jackett fine-tunes his favoured starting XI ahead of the season’s August 3 kick-off.

McCrorie will provide competition for Tom Naylor, Ben Close and Bryn Morris in the holding pair so pivotal to Pompey’s play.

And Jackett believes the 21-year-old adds an element missing from his first-team plans last term.

He said: ‘I’ve been impressed with Ross early on, it’s exciting to see him play, he’s a player that gives us good options.

'At times, perhaps we relied too heavily on one or two players in midfield and need more to come to the party and push for selection. 

‘Whether that be the two holding-midfield players or the attacking ones, we have needed more options at times.

‘So far, I would suggest we have four holders in Naylor, McCrorie, Close and Morris. So we have some interesting options in the two holding positions.

‘Ross gives you a little bit of everything in midfield, he’s a very, very good all-round midfield player.

‘We do think he can develop in terms of his forward play, not just holding, he has the athleticism and power to get forward and get on the end of things.

‘I wouldn’t limit him to just being defensive or a holder necessarily, I’d say he has to go into our midfield and do a little bit of everything.

‘I hope it’s a coup, we’ll see if he can integrate and take to League One football.’

Meanwhile, Jackett has admitted Rangers possess an option to recall McCrorie in January.

He added: ‘There is an option to recall him in January.

‘We have two long-term loans at the moment, in Sean Raggett there isn’t (an option) and in McCrorie there is. We hope lightning doesn't strike twice.’