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Fixture News

Close Welcomes Fierce Competition

Midfielder hails squad depth ahead of Rochdale clash

28 September 2018

Ben Close
Photo: Joe Pepler/PinPep

Kenny Jackett bolstered his squad with several signings over the summer.

So Ben Close is pleased with the opportunity he has been given to make a mark in Pompey’s midfield.

The academy graduate has started each of the past two matches, helping the Blues collect four points from fixtures against Peterborough and Wycombe.

But Close knows he cannot afford to let his standards slip if that place is to become more permanent.

He said: “I’m very pleased to have started the past couple of games and I want to stay in the team for as long as possible.

“The squad is stronger this season, so getting into the starting 11 is a tougher task and that competition can only be good for the club.

"If you’re in the team, then you also know you’re not too far away from falling out of it again."

Ben Close

“There are people right behind you and if you’re in the team, then you also know you’re not too far away from falling out of it again.

“We’ve got such quality on the bench and even out of the matchday squad, but that’s a positive for Pompey.

“Everyone brings something different and there are a wide variety of players – each of them can help the team have a successful season.”

Pompey head to Rochdale on Saturday looking to maintain their record as the only League One side yet to be beaten.

Close said: “We’ve picked up some really good results in the early part of the season and we’re looking for that to continue.

“The last couple of home games haven’t quite seen us at the level we want, but it’s been positive away.

“We can’t get complacent, though, and need to make sure that we continue doing the right things out on the pitch.

“There are a lot of games coming up in a short space of time and we have to be fully prepared for that hectic schedule.”

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