Gallen hails '˜underrated' Portsmouth midfielderÂ

Joe Gallen has praised '˜underrated' Ben Close's Pompey presence.

Tuesday, 18th September 2018, 4:41 pm
Updated Tuesday, 18th September 2018, 5:48 pm
Ben Close. Picture: Joe Pepler

The home-grown midfielder was recalled to Kenny Jackett's side for Saturday's trip to Peterborough.

Replacing Ben Thompson, Close helped the Blues to a 2-1 triumph to claim a place at the top of the table.

The 22-year-old has been battling it out with Millwall loanee Thompson for a first-team spot this season.

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Ben Close. Picture: Joe Pepler

At London Road it was Close who edged selection.

And Pompey's assistant boss believes the Fratton Park youth product doesn't receive enough credit for his displays.

Gallen said: '˜I thought Ben did very well against Peterborough, he is a very good player.

'˜He doesn't maybe get the plaudits or the song from the fans, but I have a lot of time personally for him.

'˜He's very easy to manage, easy to get along with and very calm, making very good decisions, particularly in a tense atmosphere. I think he has a good career ahead of him.

'˜Ben has some things to work on, undoubtedly, but he does bring some decision making and calmness. The ball flows for him nicely but, of course, look at Ben Thompson.

'˜Thompson puts his foot in, he's a strong tackler, wins a lot of headers and Ben Close has to look at that a little bit and try to get a bit of that.

'˜Ben (Thompson) has at times played exceptionally well, but on Saturday we thought Ben Close just maybe has some composure, an extra pass, some calmness.

'˜He does bring that to the team.'