Close to be handed Pompey chance to impress

Pompey midfielder Ben Close, centre, with Adam May Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey midfielder Ben Close, centre, with Adam May Picture: Joe Pepler
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Ben Close is set to be handed a first Pompey start for more than nine months in tomorrow’s Checkatrade Trophy opener.

The 21-year-old has not featured in a Blues starting XI since a 1-0 victory over Bristol Rovers in the same competition last season.

That arrived in November 2016, with Close going on to enjoy a loan spell at Eastleigh in the second half of the campaign.

Now he’s back in the first-team frame, appearing as a substitute in the Carabao Cup last Tuesday night against Cardiff.

He’s currently pencilled in to make Kenny Jackett’s team in a midfield role for the visit of Fulham under-21s (7.45pm).

Pompey’s boss said: ‘I will be interested to see Ben because he has waited patiently for his chance in midfield.

‘He came on at Cardiff in the cup and will be pushing for a first-team place in the centre of midfield.’