Ben Close: Players have to take responsibility for Portsmouth play-off failure

Ben Close insists Pompey’s players must look at themselves when the inquest is held over the failure to reach the play-offs.

Sunday, 9th May 2021, 4:01 pm

With Oxford United and Charlton both winning, it means Danny Cowley’s men finish the season in eighth spot.

Oxford will now face Blackpool in the League One play-off semi-finals, with Lincoln against Sunderland in the other tie.

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As for Pompey, Danny Cowley is now expected to initiate a clear-out – once his own appointment is finalised.

And Close admitted the players must bear the responsibility for their latest play-off failure.

He told The News: ‘We are massively disappointed, I know the fans will be.

‘We actually started the game all right, had a couple of half chances, and then didn’t kick on from that.

Ben Close believes Pompey's players have to take responsibility for their play-off failure. Pic: Joe Pepler

‘They got into the game and ended up creating more and being the better team.

‘We started the second half well and had more territory in their final third, but just couldn’t find the chances and it wasn’t clicking today.

‘It has been the story of the season.

‘You can make excuses, but, as a squad of players, we have to look at ourselves. Whether we are here or not next year, we must do better.

‘We have a good break mentally to recover from this, because it is tough to miss out like that.

‘As soon as we are ready, physically and mentally, we must get back to it and do everything we can to do better next year.’

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