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Club News

CLOSE ENJOYING EXTENDED RUN

21 February 2016

Midfielder happy to get first team action

He did not feature in the league until coming off the bench against Oxford last month.

But Ben Close has started the last four matches to firmly establish himself in Pompey’s midfield.

The 19-year-old academy graduate has quickly formed a solid partnership with Michael Doyle in the engine room.

And now Close is looking to keep his place in the starting 11 for as long as possible.

He said: “I’m loving the chance to play regular first team football – it’s absolutely great for me.

“The gaffer’s given me an opportunity by handing me a run in the side and now I’m just trying to keep that place.

“To be keeping a quality player like Adam Barton out of the team at the moment is an honour for me.

“That competition is healthy to have at any club, but hopefully I can put in some good performances and stay in the team.”

Close played the full 90 minutes on Saturday as 10-man Pompey fought from behind to snatch a point at Yeovil.

He said: “It was a disappointing result for us and, after a good start to the second half, we just seemed to take our foot off the gas.

“After conceding a goal and then going down to 10 men, we probably looked down and out.

“But we found a way to get the equaliser and were able to come away with the draw. It was a great finish from Gary Roberts.

“We were still determined to get something from the game when we could easily have gone under.

“We showed that we’ve got character in this side – I don’t think that’s something that can be doubted.”

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