Portsmouth boss Kenny Jackett reveals reasons behind new position for Rangers loan ace Ross McCrorie

Portsmouth manager Kenny Jackett has outlined his reasons for using on-loan Rangers midfielder Ross McCrorie at right-back, after recalling him for Tuesday night's win over Lincoln City at Fratton Park.

Portsmouth boss Kenny Jackett and, inset, Ross McCrorie
Portsmouth boss Kenny Jackett and, inset, Ross McCrorie

Ostensibly a defensive midfielder after being converted from a centre-back, the versatile McCrorie has operated at full-back for Scotland Under-21s, and the Pompey boss believes the 21-year-old provides a valuable option on the right of a back four.

Speaking to The Scotsman's sister title, Portsmouth News, Jackett explained why he chose McCrorie at right-back over at least three players more used to playing the position.

"I felt teams had been setting up and leaving us slightly open down that side – and we need an athletic player," the former Wolves and Millwall boss said.

A versatile defender / midfielder himself during his playing days, Jackett is confident McCrorie can make the position his own during his temporary stay on the south coast.

"Ross was caught out once or twice in the first half, but in the second half he was a lot better.

"There was one glimpse of what he can do athletically when he burst out in the second half. I do think there’s an athlete there that can bring the ball out from the back.

"Athleticism is something we're needing down that right-hand side, and that's the reason [for playing McCrorie at right-back].

"I do think it’s a position where, if Ross can find his bearings, there's a really good athlete coming out from the back."

McCrorie has played seven times for Pompey since joining on loan from Rangers, registering one assist.