Midfielder prepared to bide his time
It was a first league appearance of the season for Ben Close against Oxford.
The midfielder added to his five cup matches when he replaced Adam Barton early in the second half at Fratton Park.
Ultimately the day ended in disappointment, with Jordan Bowery’s goal securing victory for the visitors.
But Close was pleased to feature and is hoping to get more time on the pitch in the near future.
The academy graduate said: “I’ve had a few starts in cup games, so my aim is to do the same in the league and become a regular first team player.
“At the moment there are guys in my position who are playing very well, like Adam Barton, Michael Doyle and – before he got injured – Danny Hollands.
“So I’m just waiting for my chance and making sure I’m ready to take the opportunities when they come along.
“I’ve been around the first team for a while now and am confident my time will come if I stay patient.”
Close was frustrated that Pompey had nothing to show for their efforts against fellow promotion rivals.
He said: “It obviously wasn’t the result we wanted against another side who are up near the top of the table.
“There weren’t many chances created by either side and we had them penned in around the time they scored their goal.
“It was a good through ball and finish and that proved to be the difference between the sides.
“A point would have been fair because I don’t think either side deserved to win with the lack of chances created.
“It wasn’t our day, but there are plenty of games remaining this season and lots of points for us to play for.
“I’m confident we can get the number that we need to finish where we want to in the league table.”