Kenny Jackett has revealed he’ll be happy to play Ross McCrorie out of position after he came on at right back in the 2-1 defeat against Sunderland, as reported by the Portsmouth News.
McCrorie joined Pompey on a season-long loan deal from SPFL side Rangers and is a midfielder by trade. After a tough start to the season he found himself on the bench, but came in to replace Anton Wilkes at half time against the Black Cats and did well.
That’s led former Wolves manager Jackett to conclude he might play the 21-year-old out of position again in the future.
“I wouldn’t (be averse to using him at right-back again). It will be interesting to see how he develops,” said the Pompey boss.
“There’s no reason why I wouldn’t. He’s got the attributes and the athleticism to do it and he has the confidence to do it, whether it’s a new position or not.
“He’s come as a midfield player. He had a good game after being sent off in his first game.”
He was dismissed for two bookable offences in the season-opener against Shrewsbury, with suspension ruling him out of the next encounter. Showing versatility, he dropped in well at right back despite the team’s defeat.
“It means we’ve kept him out of the team for a couple of games and he’s now broken back in at right-back,” added Jackett.
“That’s no problem because he’s a good player. He had a good second half and he should tackle confidence from that.”
McCrorie, who has previously played central defence as well as defensive midfield, has been capped up to under 21 level by Scotland and has 55 outings to his name for Rangers.
He’s certainly a versatile player, but that does come with pitfalls. It means he can fill in across a number of positions, but that can sometimes lead struggling to nail down one role within a team.
If he does play occasionally at right back, occasionally in midfield and maybe even central defence, will he ever be able to hit a run of form? Or will he simply be adequate, rather than outstanding?
From a squad point of view its a good thing to have flexibility, but from the player’s perspective, he might want to settle into one role and develop from there.