Portsmouth boss' message to Ben Close after starting season out of favour

Ben Close still has a big season ahead for Pompey.

Tuesday, 15th September 2020, 7:00 pm
Ben Close. Picture: Jason Brown

Kenny Jackett insisted the Southsea lad shouldn't be written off despite starting the 2020-21 campaign out of favour.

Close has been on the bench in all three of the Blues' games so far, making his first substitute appearance in Saturday's goalless draw with Shrewsbury.

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As things stand, Tom Naylor, Bryn Morris and Andy Cannon are ahead in the central-midfield pecking order.

But Jackett believes Close is still capable of wrestling back a starting spot.

The Pompey boss said: ‘Ben is still a big player and you should never write him off.

‘He is a good player and is pushing hard to get back into the midfield.

‘I spoke to him after the Colchester game and told him that I've been pleased with him and pleased with his attitude.

‘He was unlucky not to get on in that game and is a capable player. He's one that I do think will get better every year and has a big future for us.

‘Bryn has played well and it is close. We've got Andy Cannon who can also play there.’

Pompey are again pushing for promotion to the Championship, having suffered play-off defeat in the past two seasons.

Jackett believes squad depth will be key if the Blues are to achieve their aim.

He added: ‘Like a number of positions, there is close competition and good competition between them.

‘If I was sat here with nobody behind the starting XI then it would be very difficult.

‘I have confidence in Ben to have a good season.’

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