Kenny Jackett: Ben Close showed goalscoring guts in Portsmouth winner over Rotherham

Kenny Jackett applauded Ben Close’s ‘guts’ after establishing himself as Pompey’s matchwinner against Rotherham.

Wednesday, 27th November 2019, 5:30 am

The midfielder grabbed the decisive goal in last night’s 3-2 success, with a right-footed finished on the edge of the area after initially controlling the ball on his chest.

Yet, in the first-half, the Fratton faithful groaned after Close crashed a golden opportunity inside the box over the bar.

Still, Close registered his first goal since August 10 – a barren 20-game spell.

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Skipper Lee Brown and matchwinner Ben Close celebrate victory over Rotherham at the final whistle. Picture: Joe Pepler

And Jackett was delighted the youngster didn’t let his earlier miss impact his next shooting chance.

Pompey’s boss said: ‘Ben had a big chance in the first half where Ellis nodded it back to him, it was a big one.

‘I am pleased for him because after missing that one and putting it over, he had the guts to go for the next one and put it away – and as things turned out it was the winning goal.

‘It’s funny how goals go in bursts, but, as a holding midfielder, he is going to come up behind the play and get some shots in.

‘I am delighted for Ben, you never have to worry about missing chances, you move onto the next, and if he can keep coming up with key goals like that and big contributions that’s really good.

‘As a holding midfielder, you have to come up behind the player, I don’t think you can get past the forwards necessarily, but obviously there are shooting opportunities for midfield players.’