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CLOSE: HAPPY TO BE BACK

18 April 2015

Midfielder pleased to make full league debut

A 1-0 home defeat to Bury will not live long in the memory for many.

But Ben Close was pleased to make his first league start for Pompey at the foot of a diamond midfield.

Ryan Lowe headed home Joe Riley’s cross late in the first half to boost the visitors’ chances of automatic promotion.

Close, however, felt that his side were unlucky to end up with nothing to show for their efforts.

The 18-year-old said: “I was very happy to be back in the team after a long time out of it.

“But it would have been nicer if we could have got the result that everyone wanted and that we probably deserved.

“To lose the game in the manner that we did was, I thought, a bit unfair, but that’s football.

“It’s such a horrible time to concede – we were in full control of the game up until that point and had created a few chances.

“That makes it hard to go in at the break with your head still held high, but you can’t get too down.

“We tried to go out and play in the same way during the second half, although unfortunately we couldn’t quite manage that.

“As soon as they scored Bury had one thing in mind and that was to sit deep and shut up shop.

“They stayed compact, looking to make it difficult for us to get through and, to be fair, they did that very well.”

Close made a handful of league and cup appearances at the start of the season, but had not featured since early November.

He said: “I’m only 18, so I’ve got to be patient and not get too disheartened when I’m not in the side.

“I had a good pre-season and then made some appearances at the start of the campaign.

“But I’ve had a lot of reserve football and also a spell on loan at Poole. That was a good experience of playing men’s football.

“Now I’m back in the Pompey team, though, which is great and I’d love to play a part in the remaining few games.”

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