Kenny Jackett: Ben Close will keep getting better after agreeing new Portsmouth contract​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

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Kenny Jackett has backed Ben Close to continue his impressive Pompey progress.

The homegrown midfielder put pen to paper on an extended Fratton Park deal on Monday.

That will see the Southsea talent remain at the club until the summer of 2021, with the club holding the option for an additional year. 

Close has featured from the outset in each of the Blues’ past 15 matches as they maintain a charge for League One automatic promotion.

He was forced to settle for a bit-part role in the first half of the campaign following Ben Thompson’s arrival. 

But after the Millwall loanee returned to his parent club in January, Close has flourished in midfield.

Ben Close. Picture by Joe Pepler

Ben Close. Picture by Joe Pepler

And Jackett sees no reason why the former Priory School pupil won’t keep improving. 

The boss said: ‘It was a frustrating time for Ben Close, with Ben Thompson doing so well in midfield.

‘Since the turn of the year he’s given us a lot more football in there, which we’ve needed at times.

‘Over the two years that I’ve been here, Ben has continually improved.

‘We’re pleased that he’s committed his future to the club.

‘The big thing is for Ben, his best years are ahead.

‘He can continue to keep getting better and improving.’

Close had made 111 appearances for Pompey in total.