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Fixture News

Close: We Fell Short

Midfielder reflects on defeat to Shrewsbury

27 January 2018

Pompey midfielder Ben Close

Pompey will be glad to see the back of January.

The month saw them collect a solitary point from four league games and also exit the Checkatrade Trophy.

Shrewsbury were the latest side to leave the Blues feeling downhearted, with James Bolton’s goal enough to secure them victory at a sodden Fratton Park.

But the hosts carved out more clear-cut chances than their opponents and Ben Close was frustrated they failed to take at least one.

The midfielder said: “It’s never in doubt that we’ll always give 100 per cent and will keep fighting right until the end of the game.

“There have been plenty of times this season when we’ve come on strong at the end, but unfortunately we couldn’t get that important goal on this occasion.

"We’re certainly not a million miles away from where we want to be."

Ben Close

“We edged the game and Shrewsbury didn’t have too many chances aside from the goal, which was a disappointing one to concede.

“It has been a tough run of fixtures and we haven’t been able to get the results that we wanted from that.

“We just fell short at Rotherham the previous week and it was pretty much the same again – we’re certainly not a million miles away from where we want to be.

“Doncaster next Saturday is an important game for us as we try to bounce back, so hopefully that’s what we'll do.”

Pompey players and fans were incensed in the first half when an apparent handball in the box by Shaun Whalley went unpunished.

Close said: “I don’t think of us as a side that tries to bully the referee, but everyone just thought it was so blatant.

“I haven't seen it again, although it seemed to us to be such an obvious decision and you get carried away by that.

“We should have had a penalty and I felt that, overall, we definitely deserved more than we got.”

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