Bring back Ben Close!
That’s the message from The News’ readers to Pompey boss Paul Cook ahead of this afternoon’s FA Cup second-round clash with Accrington.
Blues fans would like to see midfielder Close – a product of the Blues’ Academy set-up – named in Cook’s line-up for the visit of Stanley.
The 19-year-old impressed in a training-ground friendly against Bournemouth during the week but has not featured for the first team since the start of September – in a 2-0 Johnstone’s Paint Trophy defeat at Exeter.
In goal, Brian Murphy (77.7 per cent) is preferred to youngster Alex Bass (22.3 per cent), despite an indifferent performance at Wycombe last weekend.
At the back, familiar faces Ben Davies (93.3 per cent), Christian Burgess (86.6 per cent), Adam Webster (85.5 per cent) and Enda Stevens (73.7 per cent) were all selected.
Close (41.9 per cent), held off competition from Nigel Atangana (36.9 per cent) and Adam Barton (21.2 per cent) to partner skipper Michael Doyle (86.6 per cent) in the centre of the park.
While attacking-midfield trio Kyle Bennett (77.1 per cent), Adam McGurk (67.6 per cent) and Conor Chaplin (59.2 per cent) got the nod, with Gareth Evans (57 per cent) unfortunate to just miss out on selection.
Up front, Marc McNulty (84.9 per cent) was the overwhelming selection in the lone striker’s role.