Gallen hails ‘underrated’ Portsmouth midfielder 

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Joe Gallen has praised ‘underrated’ Ben Close’s Pompey presence.

The home-grown midfielder was recalled to Kenny Jackett’s side for Saturday’s trip to Peterborough.

Ben Close. Picture: Joe Pepler

Ben Close. Picture: Joe Pepler

Replacing Ben Thompson, Close helped the Blues to a 2-1 triumph to claim a place at the top of the table.

The 22-year-old has been battling it out with Millwall loanee Thompson for a first-team spot this season.

At London Road it was Close who edged selection.

And Pompey’s assistant boss believes the Fratton Park youth product doesn’t receive enough credit for his displays.

Gallen said: ‘I thought Ben did very well against Peterborough, he is a very good player.

‘He doesn’t maybe get the plaudits or the song from the fans, but I have a lot of time personally for him.

‘He’s very easy to manage, easy to get along with and very calm, making very good decisions, particularly in a tense atmosphere. I think he has a good career ahead of him.

‘Ben has some things to work on, undoubtedly, but he does bring some decision making and calmness. The ball flows for him nicely but, of course, look at Ben Thompson.

‘Thompson puts his foot in, he’s a strong tackler, wins a lot of headers and Ben Close has to look at that a little bit and try to get a bit of that.

‘Ben (Thompson) has at times played exceptionally well, but on Saturday we thought Ben Close just maybe has some composure, an extra pass, some calmness.

‘He does bring that to the team.’