Keeper Craig MacGillivray sets target to earn Portsmouth promotion next season

Craig MacGillivray has set a 20 clean-sheet target to earn Pompey promotion.

Wednesday, 3rd July 2019, 5:00 pm
Pompey's Craig MacGillivray. Picture: Joe Pepler

The Blues keeper has laid down the aim of improving his shut-out ratio after an impressive maiden season at Fratton Park.

MacGillivray left the pitch without conceding on 17 occasions last term, as Kenny Jackett's men finished with the division's fifth-best defensive record.

The 26-year-old now wants to up the standards he’s set, and he feels if he can match his aims Pompey will be celebrating promotion at the end of the campaign.

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MacGillivray said: ‘I said at the start of last season I wanted a full season. I wanted to play as many games as I could - and that’s what I’ve done.

‘It would have been nice to play every single game, but Kenny has had thoughts of freshening things up and given others a run out. You have to make sure the whole squad is ready, so I understand that.

'But I’m really happy with my first season. It would have topped it off to get promotion.

‘I hit all my targets. I hit the 15 clean sheets off. I ticked that off. I would’ve liked a couple more but I was happy with that.

‘From a personal point of view I’m happy with how it’s gone.

‘But like I said to (goalkeeping coach) John Keeley the other day it’s now about taking that base season and improving on it.

‘I’d love to get 20 now. I’d love that. If you get 20 in a season that’s very good.

'If you get 20 clean sheets you’re going up. It’s definitely a big factor.

‘It’s nearly half your games in a 50-game season. That’s a great achievement.

‘The clean sheets isn’t just about me, though. It’s about the lads in front of me as well.’

Pompey boss Kenny Jackett put focus on stiffening up his side's defensive resolve last season, after being left frustrated by the amount of late goals conceded in his first year with the club.

MacGillivray noted it was the three promoted outfits who conceded the fewest goals across the 46 League One games.

That tells the former Shrewsbury man how much attention should be afforded to the side's stoicism next term.

MacGillivray added: ‘You look at Barnsley and Luton. There was only 39 goals conceded by Barnsley. That’s frightening. Luton got 42.

‘I totally agree with the gaffer it’s 50 per cent of it - clean sheets.

The other half is the mind set and scoring goals.

'It’s difficult to achieve. People like scoring goals, but if you don’t have a balance it becomes very difficult.’