Ben Close on owing Portsmouth boss Kenny Jackett a performance against Southampton

Ben Close believes Pompey’s under-performing players owe Kenny Jackett a performance.

Monday, 23rd September 2019, 5:59 pm
Pompey midfielder Ben Close during Saturday's defeat at Wycombe Picture: Nigel Keene

And the Blues midfielder believes there’s no better place to do that than in a south-coast derby against fierce rivals Southampton.

Pompey go into the highly-anticipated Carabao Cup game against Premier League Saints sitting 20th in the League One table.

Saturday’s 1-0 defeat at Wycombe was their third loss in seven league outings, leaving Jackett’s side with only one win in the division this term.

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Pompey midfielder Ben Close during Saturday's defeat at Wycombe Picture: Nigel Keene

A significant portion of the away support at Adams Park were heard chanting ‘We want Jackett out’ as the Blues once again failed to live up to expectations.

It piled added pressure on the manager as he strives to find a winning formula following significant investment in the team during the summer – despite the losses of Matt Clarke and Jamal Lowe.

Next up for Jackett is a PO4 clash with Southampton  – the first meeting between the two sides since 2012.

The Fratton faithful will be expecting a performance from their side irrespective of the 51 places that separate the Blues and their rivals in the football ladder.

And academy product Close believes that’s the least the players can do for the manager as they attempt to relieve the pressure on him.

‘Of course (we need to put a performance in for the boss),’ said Close.

‘We’re the 11 players out on the pitch, we’re the ones not getting the results at the moment.

‘Tomorrow night is an opportunity to turn our form and confidence around.

‘We know how the league is going at the moment, but in terms of tomorrow we’re all looking forward to it.’

Close added victory against Ralph Hasenhuttl's side could kick-start a league campaign that sees the Blues trail league leaders Ipswich by 15 points.

He said: ‘It could ignite the season. We need to do that sooner rather than later so maybe this game has come at a good time.

‘But for that to happen we have got to start the game well and do all the things we know we need to do and see where that takes us.’