No dilemma for Kenny Jackett as same again yields Portsmouth triumph
No dilemma, no quandary, no predicament – and same again yielded precisely the same outcome.
On Saturday, Kenny Jackett retained the side which eliminated Birmingham from the Carabao Cup.
Despite John Marquis and Ross McCrorie now available, they were condemned to the bench as Pompey headed into their Tranmere fixture unchanged.
Certainly there was plenty of pre-match debate over whether Close, Ellis Harrison and Andy Cannon would be replaced.
But Jackett played down the difficulty of the selection decision.
He said: ‘I don’t think there are necessarily dilemmas.
‘People have asked me whether they are hard decisions, but we had to try to work a group and squad that can sustain us through the season.
‘Looking at last season, 10 months in and we didn’t win any of the last five games – and that cost us promotion.
‘Since I have been here, January is a tough month recruitment-wise, you can get your back against the wall financially, it’s difficult, it can hold you to ransom.
‘I did feel this summer we had to be thorough if we could – and if that then left me a few tough decisions in terms of the early season, then so be it,
‘Against Tranmere, I decided to keep the same side, I was very pleased with what they did on Tuesday night, I didn’t think anybody deserved to be left out.
‘There were one or two that didn’t quite have the full energy they had on Tuesday night, I think that was quite a feature, because some people haven’t necessarily played for a while.
‘But they all deserved to keep their shirt.’
As for Close, he responded to the manager’s faith was registering another stunning strike.
Jackett added: ‘The goalkeeper made a great save from Naylor and from the corner came out and blocked at Andy Cannon’s feet.
‘Then Ben hit it true and it was a great finish which set us on our way.’