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Fixture News

Close Hoping For Blackpool Repeat

Midfielder has fond memories of facing Saturday's opponents

10 August 2018

Ben Close

Blackpool away is a fixture that will always mean a lot to Ben Close.

The academy graduate scored his first goal in senior football during last season’s dramatic victory at Bloomfield Road.

Pompey return there on Saturday for the second game of the 2018/19 campaign, having enjoyed an opening day victory over Luton.

The visitors are without a manager following the departure of Gary Bowyer earlier in the week and Close is hoping the Blues can secure another win.

He said: “I’ve obviously got really good memories from last season’s fixture after scoring for the first time.

“It helped that we ended up winning the game thanks to a late goal – hopefully it will be something similar on Saturday.

"Sides changing their manager just before facing us seems to happen quite a lot."

Ben Close

“Over the past couple of years, sides changing their manager just before facing us seems to happen quite a lot.

“Of course you’re aware of it, but ultimately it doesn’t make a lot of difference for us – we just focus on the 11 men we’re facing on the pitch.

“Blackpool have had a fairly big turnover over the summer and we expect it be another tough game, as it always is.

“But we want to build on our win on the opening day. There were a lot of positives against Luton and a lot of things to work on as well.

“Hopefully we can put everything together, produce an improved performance and keep the winning feeling going.”

Close came on as a substitute against the Hatters last week, having suffered with a hamstring injury over the summer.

The midfielder said: “I didn’t have much of a pre-season and so I’m playing a little bit of catch-up, but I enjoyed the time back on the pitch.

“Luton were fairly confident at the time I came on, so I just tried to help us keep possession and thought I did okay.”

Meanwhile, teenage Blues defender Matt Casey has joined Weymouth on a work experience loan.

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