Fratton Park atmosphere and fans key to Ross McCrorie's Portsmouth move from Rangers

Ross McCrorie experienced crowds in excess of 50,000 as Rangers and Celtic locked horns in Old Firm battles.

Sunday, 7th July 2019, 7:30 am
Updated Sunday, 7th July 2019, 8:54 pm

It’s a derby that attracts world-wide audiences, with the stature of both club’s recognised as amongst the biggest in football.

Yet Kenny Jackett’s new loan signing from the blue side of Glasgow admitted moving to a club of Pompey’s standing proved hard to resist.

The midfielder completed this switch to Fratton Park on Friday and represents the Blues’ sixth new arrival this summer.

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He joins after making 54 appearances for the Ibrox outfit – 30 of which came last season under the tutelage of Gers boss Steven Gerrard.

McCrorie has also featured in four Old Firm match-ups, with his last Rangers outing coming as a substitute in a 2-0 victory over champions Celtic on May 12.

Giving up such experiences will no doubt have been hard for the Scotland under-21 international as he contemplated his future, with Gerrard & Co keen to end the Bhoys’ stranglehold on the Scottish Premiership.

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - DECEMBER 29: Ross McCrorie and Scott Arfield of Rangers celebrates at the final whistle as Rangers beat Celtic 1-0 during the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match between Rangers and Celtic at Ibrox Stadium on December 29, 2018 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

But McCrorie admitted the decision was made that much easier by the positive reports he had received about Pompey.

Talking to The News, he said: ‘The size of the club attracted me to them (Pompey) and the fan base as well.

'I've heard, and the coaching staff as well have been telling me, how good the fans are and what the atmosphere is like at Fratton Park - and that was a really big factor for me.

‘I’m looking forward to the challenge.’

McCrorie added he also grew up watching Pompey on TV, when they competed in the Premier League.

He said those memories reinforced his commitment to seal a move south of the border.

‘It was a no-brainer for me to join, the opportunity to come here and play for a big club like Portsmouth, the midfielder confessed.

‘When I was younger, I actually used to watch them on Match of The Day all the time, with big players like Kanu and Benjani, so I have quite a bit of knowledge of the club.’