Portsmouth midfielder Ben Close has said that the squad is “looking forward” to the side’s upcoming fixture schedule, starting this evening against Exeter in the semi-final of the Leasing.com trophy.
The south coast side welcome the Grecians to Fratton Park, who Pompey will be hoping to overcome so they can advance to their second successive final in the competition.
There is still a lot to play for at Pompey until the end of the season. In addition to the opportunity to defend their EFL Trophy crown, the club are still in the FA Cup draw, and also continue to fight for promotion from League One.
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That adds to the fixture congestion, but Close, who has been a mainstay of the team’s central midfield this season, says that the Pompey squad are relishing the end of season run-in.
“We’ve got a very good squad and have got that quality to compete on three different fronts,” the 23-year-old told the club website.
“There’s plenty of ability here and we’re ready for all the games that are coming – we’re looking forward to them.”
Pompey have 16 league games left to play, and their involvement in other competitions could mean that the team plays close to sixty matches this campaign.
“It’s another season where we’ll be playing a huge amount of matches, although I think we’re better prepared,” Close said.
Portsmouth take on an Exeter City team that are vying for promotion from League Two, with the Grecians currently sitting in 2nd place in the table. Close says the Devon side cannot be overlooked.
“They’re flying in League Two and have won a lot of games, so it’s going to be a tough test – just like the semi-final against Bury was last season.”
Although it will once again be a case of their second match in the space of four days, Pompey will know that another trip to Wembley is on the line this evening.
Therefore, it is likely that we will see a strong starting XI selected by Kenny Jackett, as the side look to continue their positive momentum.
Portsmouth have a disappointing recent record against Exeter, losing three of the last six meetings between the teams.