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Fixture News

Close: Be Ready

Midfielder hoping for a chance to impress in the cup

6 August 2019

Ben Close
Photo: Joe Pepler/PinPep

Ben Close was a regular starter for Pompey last season, but found himself on the bench for the first game of the current campaign.

And that is where the academy graduate remained for the entirety of Saturday’s narrow – and perhaps unfortunate – defeat at Shrewsbury.

So he will be hoping to make an appearance when Birmingham visit Fratton Park tonight in the first round of the Carabao Cup.

With fellow midfielder Ross McCrorie serving a one-match ban, Close knows that there could be a precious opportunity to impress.

He said: “Not being in the team is bound to happen at times when you’ve got such good players and competition all over the pitch.

“There’s obviously some disappointment when you hear that you’re not starting and I’m sure there were others who felt the same.

"These cup games will give certain players an opportunity to show just what they can bring to the team."

Ben Close

“Our squad has strength in depth and injuries and suspensions happen all the time, so you have to be ready when the chance comes.

“These cup games will give certain players an opportunity to show just what they can bring to the team.

“The more competitions you’re in, then the more games there are and you can find yourself involved, so there’s an added incentive to do well.”

Pompey are facing a Birmingham outfit who began the season with a victory at Brentford in the Championship on Saturday.

Close said: “The lads get excited when we got draws against teams from higher leagues and we all know it will be tough.

“Birmingham have a strong squad, but we’re looking forward to it and want to progress to the next round.”


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