Portsmouth boss reveals Craig MacGillivray's reaction to being axed at Gillingham

Kenny Jackett has told of Craig MacGillivray’s frustration as he wielded the goalkeeping axe at Gillingham.

Thursday, 2nd January 2020, 11:45 am
Updated Thursday, 2nd January 2020, 11:45 am

And the Pompey boss has told of his expectations for MacGillivray as he vies with Alex Bass for the No1 shirt.

Jackett threw a sizeable surprise by dropping the Scottish international for the 1-1 draw at Priestfield.

The 26-year-old was a league ever-present last term and has missed just two League One games this season through injury and a call-up for his country.

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But Bass was favoured against Steve Evans’ side and the 21-year-old turned in an accomplished performance on just the fourth league start of his career.

Jackett admitted MacGillivray was unhappy at his decision, but explained he expected the former Shrewsbury man to show support for Bass - and that was exactly what he did.

He said: ‘No player is ever happy not being in the team and not getting on the pitch, whatever club you are at.

‘That remains a fact. Everyone wants to play and so you should.

Craig MacGillivray. Picture: Nigel Keene/ProSportsImages

‘But similarly I do expect people to be professional and back players in the team because football changes quickly.

‘That’s very much the reaction I got from Craig.

‘Alex has supported him for a lot of games .

‘They are quite close and at the moment as a club it’s quite a good department for us.’

The Gillingham draw brings a close to the league festive schedule, which has brought a mixed bag of results for Pompey.

Wins over the top two were followed by defeat at MK Dons, before picking up a point against a side who’d won their past seven games at home - conceding just one goal in the process.

That makes the game’s outcome a seemingly satisfying one for the Blues - but Jackett knows it could have been better.

He added: ‘I did feel there was a win there for us and we had the edge.

‘We were in front for a long time and the start of the second half I thought we’d weathered the storm.

‘We can’t quite get those details right at the moment to get us over the line.

‘There’s been some big games against the likes of Wycombe and Ipswich. Big games and big atmospheres.

‘We’ve gone away to MK Dons and had a hell a lot of the game and contrived to lose 3-1 when we couldn’t break them down or do enough in terms of going forward when we had a good stranglehold on the game.

‘It was similar against Gillingham when we had a lot of it.

‘We’re close but it’s consistent wins we need to get up the league.’