Proper pro Christian Burgess impressing in Portsmouth right-back role - Ben Close

Newly-installed right-back Christian Burgess was man-of-the-match at Blackpool - and has impressed Ben Close. Picture: Paul Thompson/ProSportsImages
Newly-installed right-back Christian Burgess was man-of-the-match at Blackpool - and has impressed Ben Close. Picture: Paul Thompson/ProSportsImages
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He’s been Pompey’s fourth League One right-back before August’s expiry.

And Ben Close believes ‘proper pro’ Christian Burgess is adapting to his new role with impressive speed.

Kenny Jackett surprisingly entrusted the central defender with the responsibility at QPR on Wednesday night.

Following a 2-0 Carabao Cup victory, he was retained at Blackpool – and turned in a man-of-the match showing.

Clearly Burgess is growing into his nw remit, while his defensive strength remains, covering superbly on one second-half occasion to block Armand Gnanduillet in Saturday’s 1-1 draw.

And team-mate Close has applauded how the 27-year-old is faring.

He said: ‘Burge made an absolutely fantastic tackle in the second half and that's his defensive side coming out.

‘He got across well and defended it at the near post, which is the back post for him. It was a great challenge.

‘He is a proper pro and always was going to go about being right-back in the correct way, putting in everything to try to improve.

‘Burge has done really well and it’s no surprise he is putting in performance at right-back.

‘Having played a lot of games on the right-hand side of centre-half, he knows his right-backs well, he knows what sort of positions to take up there. Defensively I thought he was excellent at Blackpool.

‘His runs down the flank are going to come with the more confidence he gets at right-back.

‘Wednesday night was different, obviously QPR had a lot of possession and penned us in a bit, but on Saturday he was coming into the game more attacking-wise.

‘He has impressed me, but it’s not a surprise, he’s such a good pro and has a good attitude.’

Burgess’ right-back stint has also demonstrated another side to his game – long throws.

It’s a duty he has taken up since switched the full-back and that particular contribution was eye-catching at Bloomfield Road.

Close added: In training he threw it even further than that, so it was a little bit disappointing against Blackpool!

‘It’s all part of being a right-back – and he has picked it up well.’