Close relishing going head-to-headÂ with ex-Portsmouth skipper at CoventryÂ
Ben Close is adamant he is '˜relishing' being pittedÂ head-to-head with Michael Doyle.
Although, the midfielder is braced for a tough evening of combating the ever-aggressive PompeyÂ title-winning skipper.
Doyle will face the Blues for the first time since departing in May 2017, having captainedÂ them to the League Two crown.
AfterÂ 97 games and threeÂ goals, the veteran linked up with former club Coventry City to be closer to his midlands home.
Having led Mark Robins' side to promotion through the play-offs last season, the Irishman will now line up against Pompey at the Ricoh Stadium tomorrow night (7.45pm).
AndÂ former team-mate Close believes it will beÂ an intriguing midfield battle.
He said: '˜I'm relishing the chance to play against Michael Doyle '“Â really!
'˜He's a great player who wasÂ here with a successful squad, so havingÂ the opportunity of playing against him is an exciting one.
'˜MichaelÂ is a physical player, an aggressive player, and you play against those type of players every week.
'˜Even in training he was aggressive, always wanted to win, didn't take people not trying, and that is why he's got to where he is. He's a born winner.
'˜Players were afraid to train poorly, you couldn't have a bad session, you would get hammered for it.
'˜He's one of those players that will do anything to win, that's why he's had such a successful career and still playing now.
'˜Physically, he has kept himself in great shape, one of the fittest players when here along with Gaz Evans, so a tough competitor. It will be tough whoever plays against him.'
Conor Chaplin is ineligible under terms of his initial loan deal with the Sky Blues.
Yet the likes of Doyle, Tom Davies, Liam O'Brien and Dominic Hyam represent former Fratton Park team-mates of Close now featuring at the Ricoh.
Robins must make his team selection '“Â but Doyle will definitely be in the side.
Close added: '˜As captainÂ he would drill into us we were going to win, we weren'tÂ going to lose, and it did spread across the team.
'˜If you were on his team in training you would probably be winning and '“ on a Saturday '“ he would bring that winning mentality into the side.'
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