Portsmouth keeper lauds special relationship with fans as he vows to keep proving his worth

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Craig MacGillivray vowed he’ll keep on proving himself after his breakthrough Pompey season.

The Blues keeper admitted his delight at repaying Kenny Jackett’s faith in him after an outstanding campaign at Fratton Park.

MacGillivray knew there were people questioning his signing last summer, after two seasons largely sitting on the bench at Shrewsbury and Walsall.

The 26-year-old’s response was emphatic, however, chalking up 17 clean sheets and an excellent 56 appearances.

That total blew away the 33 Football League outings previously picked up in his career across four seasons.

MacGillivray explained he was answering questions he was asking of himself as well as others.

Pompey keeper Craig MacGillivray. Photo by Daniel Chesterton/phcimages.com

Pompey keeper Craig MacGillivray. Photo by Daniel Chesterton/phcimages.com

He said: ‘It’s nice. I always thought I could do it. It’s just nice to have done it.

‘Now it’s not a case of proving it to myself anymore.

‘But I’m proving it to other people as well. I have to keep doing it.

‘I’m sure when I signed people wondered why we signed a keeper who’s played no games.

‘Ultimately I had to prove to people that what the gaffer did was the right thing.’

Despite the initial reservations some have had, MacGillivray quickly established himself as fans’ favourite after moving to Fratton Park.

It was his form which ultimately was the biggest reason behind that, and was reflected in the former Harrogate men being strongly backed in the The News/Sports Mail player-of-the-year vote behind eventual winner Matt Clarke.

MacGillivray feels he’s been able to build a relationship with supporters in his time at Pompey.

And as well as his showings on the pitch, the keeper feels the fact he wears his heart on his sleeve was a contributory factor in doing so.

He said: ‘The fans have taken to me and it’s very much appreciated.

‘I’d like them to feel that during a game I’m feeling what they are feeling.

'That’s the positives and negatives. I want them to know I hurt as much as them when we lose.

‘I have so much joy and excitement when we score a goal as well. I think that shows.’