McCrory out to become Pompey regular

Damien McCrory. Picture: Joe Pepler
Damien McCrory. Picture: Joe Pepler
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Damien McCrory is out to cement his place in Pompey’s starting line-up after snubbing the chance of Championship football.

But the Irishman is aware of the stiff competition he faces to nail down a position at Fratton Park.

The left-sided player switched second-tier outfit Burton Albion for the Blues on deadline day as he searches for regular game time.

McCrory, 27, dropped down the pecking order at the Pirelli Stadium after being a key figure in the Brewers’ climb up the Football League ladder.

The defender registered just 17 appearances in Burton’s maiden season in the Championship last term.

Despite McCrory playing five games this season, boss Nigel Clough sees veteran Stephen Warnock as his first-choice left-back.

McCrory cut a holiday short in Cornwall to join Pompey on loan until January and he is relishing the opportunity to nail down a starting spot in Kenny Jackett’s side.

He said: ‘I had a chat with the gaffer (Clough) and he said I was second-choice left-back to Stephen Warnock.

‘The gaffer wasn’t forcing me out but said if I wanted to go out on loan, then do so by all means.

‘Unless there were injuries or suspensions, I would have been on the bench.

‘Last season was pretty much the same having made 12 starts and five substitute appearances – in my eyes, that’s poor.

‘Even though it is Championship
football and I might have got sniffs of game time, I wanted to play week in, week out.

‘I took that chance as soon as Portsmouth were interested.

‘I wanted to play every week in the Championship.

‘If that’s not going to happen then I’ve got no qualms about dropping down a division to play every week.’

McCrory looks set to go head-to-head with Brandon Haunstrup for a place on the left side of the Blues’ defence.

Dion Donohue is also capable of functioning in the role after signing from Chesterfield.

Loanee McCrory could make his debut against AFC Wimbledon tomorrow.

He was an unused substitute in Sunday’s 1-0 defeat to Rotherham.

The Limerick-born talent believes he must make a striking first impression given the competition he faces for a spot in Pompey’s rearguard.

‘If you ask any player, they will always want competition,’ McCrory added.

‘It keeps them on their toes and they know they have got to impress and do well.

‘I’m not taking anything for granted. When I get my chance, I have to take it.

‘I’ve been concentrating on getting a week of training in and getting to know the lads.

‘Dion and Brandon’s left foots are both spot on and if I don’t impress then my position is up for the taking.

‘There is a great bunch of lads here and the quality in training has been spot on.

‘I can’t fault anything and I’m looking forward to continuing training with them and getting out there and playing tomorrow.’