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Fixture News

Close: Bad Habit Costing Us

Midfielder knows where Pompey need to improve

3 November 2019

Ben Close in
Photo: Joe Pepler/PinPep

There has not been much wrong with Pompey’s general performances in recent weeks.

But Ben Close knows they have to be better at seeing games out after being undone by another late goal against Oxford

Matty Taylor’s header on 90 minutes cancelled out a Gareth Evans spot-kick in a game the hosts dominated at Fratton Park.

It is the third Saturday in a row that conceding at the death has resulted in dropped points for the Blues.

And while Close was pleased with plenty of aspects of their display, it is clear where they need to be better.

The midfielder – who won the Pompey penalty – said: “It’s a bit of a habit at the moment, with the late goals also coming at AFC Wimbledon and Bristol Rovers.

“That’s tough to take because there were a lot of positives for us – the overall performance was good.

"We looked really bright and so just need to get out of that habit of conceding late on."

Ben Close

“We didn’t see the game out as we should have done, but we were the better team and had chances to finish Oxford off.

“When we won the ball back, we were springing forward really quickly and getting into the box on a number of occasions.

“There were opportunities in the first half and also after the break, and we probably should have scored two or three.

“We looked really bright and so just need to get out of that habit of conceding late on. If I could tell you what the reason was, then we wouldn’t be doing it.

“But it’s something we do need to look at. I’m sure we will and we’ll also work hard to try to improve that.

“Our performances aren’t too different from last season and I’m confident that we can turn things around.”

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