Close: Charlton win helped revitalise Pompey

Ben Close. Picture: Joe Pepler
Ben Close. Picture: Joe Pepler
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Pompey's Adam May wins a header. Picture: Mark Robinson

Gaffer brands Pompey opponents ‘absolutely appalling’

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Ben Close believes Pompey’s victory over Charlton Athletic helped galvanise their League One form at Blackpool.

After four defeats on the bounce, the Blues earned a much-needed 1-0 victory at The Valley in the Checkatrade Trophy on Tuesday night.

Kal Naismith, Danny Rose and Gareth Evans all featured against the Addicks and kept their starting berths against the Tangerines at Bloomfield Road on Saturday.

Close, who netted his maiden Pompey goal on 80 minutes against Gary Bowyer’s men, insisted confidence has never dipped in Kenny Jackett’s squad, despite the string of defeats.

But the midfielder reckons the win at Charlton played a key part in getting back to winning ways in League One.

Close said: ‘Given Blackpool had lost just one game at home this season, it makes the win even better.

‘They are a good side and showed they have quality in all areas of the pitch.

‘The substitute (Dolly Menga) changed the game and made them look a real threat from wide areas.

‘It was important. Even if we did win at Charlton, it was nice to put our league form right.

‘The win at Charlton helped us.

‘The gaffer mentioned how spirited we looked and we used the whole squad to pick up two wins in two different competitions.

‘We have got players who can come and step in and get results for us and that was proven at Blackpool and Charlton.

‘Even before the two wins, we never felt a lack of confidence in the side.

‘We didn’t get too down and getting two wins has boosted our confidence.

‘Now we have got fit players in numbers in every position, it is only going to help us.’

Brett Pitman extended his goal tally to 11 for the season against Blackpool at Bloomfield Road.

He netted two poacher’s finishes – the first in the 52nd minute before he headed home the winner with four minutes remaining.

As a result, the summer signing from Ipswich is now the division’s second top goalscorer.

Close lauded his captain’s performance and feels the Blues have the chance to win any game when Pitman is on the pitch.

‘A key to a good team is having goalscorers,’ the Pompey Academy product added.

‘We’ve got them here – Conor is excellent in front of goal, as well.

‘Brett has proved he is a natural goalscorer and he showed it again on Saturday.

‘When you have players like that, you always have a real chance of scoring.