Why Ben Close was always confident Portsmouth would recover from stuttering start to the season

The sentiment among the Pompey dressing room was that it was two points dropped against Peterborough.

Monday, 9th December 2019, 6:00 am
Updated Monday, 9th December 2019, 6:05 am

The Blues missed out on a chance to register seven successive wins, having been on course for victory.

Nevertheless, the Blues collected a decent 2-2 draw against the League One high-flyers – a result most supporters would have taken prior to kick-off.

And it impressively took Kenny Jackett’s side’s unbeaten streak to double figures.

Sign up to our Portsmouth FC newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

They’re now 10 matches without defeat in all competitions, with just one loss in their past 15 outings.

Things have certainly picked up significantly after a stuttering start to the season, when Pompey struggled to find any sort of form and sat just two points above the relegation zone after defeat to AFC Wimbledon.

However, the 10th-placed Blues are now within striking distance of the play-offs and have built up some much-needed a head of steam.

Ben Close revealed he was always confident things would improve.

Pompey midfielder Ben Close

The Southsea midfielder felt fine margins meant things didn't go the Blues’ way in the formative stage of the campaign – but now that's changed.

Close said: ‘It’s fine margins in football. We weren’t doing too much wrong when we weren’t winning.

‘Confidence was a bit short and the luck just wasn't on our side.

‘I think over a few weeks it turned for us, confidence grew and we got a couple of good results.

‘Those are the fine margins in football. That's why it doesn't take much for a team to go on a bad run to a really good run – and vice versa, too.

‘I knew myself the results were going to come. I think the lads knew that and the staff knew that as well.

‘It shows that if you have that belief then it's going to turn, eventually it is going to turn and thankfully it turned pretty quickly for us.’

Pompey were well fancied to reach the Championship before the start of the campaign, after suffering play-off defeat to Sunderland last term.

While the Blues aren't yet in the promotion spots, they sit just three points behind six-placed Coventry with a game in hand.

Despite their improvement, Close accepts Jackett’s men aren’t yet in the position they want to be.

But the academy graduate sees no reason why Pompey can’t continue their charge up the table.

He added: ‘If you’re looking at the last 6-8 weeks, we are happy with how things are going.

‘We’re not where we obviously want to be in the league at the moment.

‘However, do feel we can get to where we want to be? Absolutely, we do.’