Pompey to assess midfielder’s injury

Stuart O'Keefe in action against Bury. Picture: Joe Pepler
Stuart O'Keefe in action against Bury. Picture: Joe Pepler
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Pompey will assess Stuart O’Keefe’s injury on Monday after he was forced off against Bury.

The midfielder was replaced at half-time by Ben Close after receiving a knock which affected his mobility.

Stuart took a really big whack in the first half and it has affected his groin, lower back and glute area, stiffening right up

Joe Gallen

The Blues went on to beat the League One strugglers through Michael Clarke’s 62nd-minute header.

As for Close, he was a composed presence following his introduction during a first appearance since he was sidelined by a thigh problem.

Now Pompey must discover the extent of O’Keefe’s problem, although Joe Gallen believes it is minor.

The Blues’ assistant boss said: ‘It was an enforced substitution. Stuart took a really big whack in the first half and it has affected his groin, lower back and glute area, stiffening right up.

‘It stiffened in the first half and he was struggling.

‘Ben did well when he came on. He’s a really good player and I thought Danny Rose also played very well.

‘It’s good competition for two out of those three in Kenny’s system.

‘I thought Ben came on and looked like he hadn’t been away,

‘I don’t think it’s bad with Stuart, though.

‘We will assess it on Monday but I don’t think so.

‘Hopefully he is going to be okay, we will see on Monday or Tuesday.’

It was a seventh win in eight matches for Pompey as they continue to apply pressure on the play-off positions.

Only Charlton Athletic’s advantage of having scored more goals is fending off the Blues from breaking into the top six.

However, their performance against the Shakers was flat, while the crowd were also quiet during an instantly forgettable encounter.

Once Clarke netted his second goal of the season, the result was never in any doubt considering how comfortable the hosts were – and ineffective the opposition were proving.

But with just one goal to their name, Gallen feared the Blues were always susceptible to a potential leveller.

The assistant manager added: ‘Looking back you will probably say it was comfortable.

‘But from the sidelines, having been around for so long, you just know that one slip or just one moment and it is either 1-0 down or it is 1-1.

‘That can then really affect the performance level of the crowd, getting more anxious and passing that on to the players.

‘So I didn’t really feel comfortable, not at 1-0.

‘I don’t think I have been too comfortable here so far, especially lately.

‘You just know a set-piece, a corner, a free-kick or something, every team have some sort of threat and attack.’