Mikey Harris was delighted with the attitude of his players, despite an FA Youth Cup exit at Fratton Park.
Pompey’s academy side were beaten 4-1 by category one outfit Newcastle in a third round clash on the south coast.
Tommy Scutt cancelled out Owen Gallacher’s opener, but Kevin McNall and Callum Smith were also on target for the visitors, while Theo Widdrington added an own-goal.
Harris conceded that the Magpies deserved to progress, although he was able to take plenty of positives from the contest.
Pompey’s under-18s manager said: “The boys put in a huge effort and worked really hard – even in the final minutes when we were 4-1 down.
“They never gave up and that’s an important trait that we look for at this football club. We want them to keep going to the end.
“Newcastle are a quality team and I think they can go far in this competition, so it’s no disgrace to be knocked out by them.
“The boys are disappointed because we had a few chances on the counter-attack, especially in the first half.
“But Newcastle dominated the ball and had a lot of opportunities themselves, while we had to ride our luck at times.
“We were pleased with the goal that we did score and it was a great finish from Tommy, who also hit the post late on.
“The lads can take a lot from the performance and will also learn lessons which will make them a better team moving forward.”
Harris was also delighted to see more than 800 supporters turn out to support the young Blues.
He said: “The fans always come and support the boys. A lot of the die-hard faithful would have already been up in Grimsby, but those who were there created a good atmosphere.”