Rangers loanee man tasked with raising the bar after eye-catching Portsmouth display at Stevenage
Ross McCrorie has been challenged to build on the tantalising glimpse of talent he gave Pompey fans at Stevenage.
The Scottish midfielder showed his potential with a standout display in Saturday’s 1-0 warm-up win.
McCrorie’s quality was head and shoulders above everything else on display at Broadhall Way in a largely uneventful pre-season meeting which the Blues eventually edged.
Kenny Jackett felt the Rangers loanee gave a taster of what he’s capable of and showed why he was so keen to get the 21-year-old to Fratton Park.
Now he wants to use the display as a platform to build on heading into the season.
Jackett said: ‘I’ve got a lot of time for him and hopefully he can continue that (his performance).
‘It’s a good start for him and he’s got great energy. I’m looking forward to seeing how he does for us.
‘We’ve got to give him the space to run. He has a really good general, all-round game
‘I looked at the combination of McCrorie and Close.
‘We think we have some options in there.’
McCrorie’s partnership with Ben Close was one of the plus points of the game for Pompey, as Tom Naylor dropped back to partner Paul Downing in the middle of defence.
They were a couple of a number of new partnerships across the pitch as Jackett weighed up the options at his disposal in his squad.
That gave him some food for thought with the League One curtain-raiser at Shrewsbury now less than a couple of weeks away.
It appears McCrorie is in the box seat to start that game in middle at New Meadow, however.
Jackett added: ‘The one established partnership was Brown and Curtis.
‘Walkes and Lowe have played together, but it was mainly Lowe and Thompson.
‘Harrison and Pitman at nine and 10 is a new one.
‘There was McCrorie and Close as well as Naylor and Downing.
‘So there was a lot of new partnerships, but in terms of the midfield one I’m pleased to bring ‘McCrorie in and play him with whoever really.’