Portsmouth keeper Craig MacGillivray won't settle for making up numbers in Scotland squad

Pompey keeper Craig MacGillivray
Pompey keeper Craig MacGillivray
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  Craig MacGillivray has been backed to seize his international opportunity.

And Kenny Jackett believes the Pompey keeper may be able to take advantage of the arrival of Steve Clarke as Scotland boss and force his way into his starting XI.

Scotland face Russia tonight at Hampden Park in their European Championship qualifier, before Belgium also arrive in Glasgow for Monday’s night’s Group I clash.

MacGillivray last week spoke of his immense pride at his maiden call-up after showing outstanding consistency after signing from Shrewsbury last year.

The 26-year-old is vying for the starting sport with Sunderland’s Jon McLaughlin and Wigan’s David Marshall, after Clarke’s arrival as boss in May.

And Jackett knows his keeper won’t be content with simply being part of the Scotland set-up.

He said: ‘He’ll be wanting to take his opportunity with both hands knowing Craig.

‘I’ve been very pleased with him since I signed him from Shrewsbury.

‘He’s been a consistent performer for us and I’m pleased he’s got that.

‘It’s a nice reward for him.

‘You have to look a little bit deeper at the competition (in terms of MacGillivray starting).

‘McLaughlin is someone we know a lot about having played Sunderland so many times.

‘The other one is Marshall and maybe Kelly from QPR. They are maybe the contenders.

‘For him, though, it shows there’s no perfect route and when a new manager comes in they want to make a few of their own players in and have a look at different people and give them opportunities.’

MacGillivray was one of three Pompey players receiving international call-ups last month, leading to tomorrow’s scheduled clash with Southend being called off.

Ross McCrorie was part of the Scotland under-21 set-up, who last night got their under-21 qualifying campaign off to a start against San Marino at St Mirren Park.

Likewise, Ronan Curtis was selected in the Republic of Ireland squad who hosted Switzerland last night.

Jackett added: ‘The call-ups for Craig, Ronan and Ross are great news.

‘Ross is under-21 captain for Scotland, so it’s certainly good for all three guys.’