Close: We must be wary of ex-Portsmouth striker’s threat

Ryan Bird. Picture: Joe Pepler
Ryan Bird. Picture: Joe Pepler
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Ben Close has warned of the danger Ryan Bird could pose Pompey in the FA Cup.

The former Blues striker is now at Maidenhead United and looks set to lead the line for the Magpies as they entertain Kenny Jackett’s team in tomorrow’s first-round encounter (12.30pm).

Bird joined Pompey from non-league Burnham back in July 2013.

Signed by Guy Whittingham, he netted twice when on trial as the Blues beat the Hawks 5-0 in a pre-season friendly.

He went on to make 25 Blues appearances and found the net three times before leaving in September 2014.

Current first-teamers Ben Close and Jack Whatmough played with Bird during his brief spell at Fratton Park.

And 22-year-old Close knows the threat Bird possesses.

He said: ‘Birdy is a great lad and a real character.

'He's a goal threat and someone we will need to be aware of.

'I think I was a second-year scholar, going on first-year professional when he was here. 

'I remember how he played, he was a threat in the air and scored some good goals.

'I didn't know he was at Maidenhead, it will be good to see him and hopefully we can keep him quiet on Saturday.’