Pompey prospects excite midfielder
“There’s a lot of games in League Two, so I’m sure our young players will ready when they’re called upon again. We know that we can trust them.
“It’s a good experience for them and proves that our academy is working. They didn’t look out of their depth.
He said: “Nick made his debut and didn’t put a foot wrong. The kids were probably our best outfield players.
And the midfielder feels that the young players in the squad will keep the more seasoned pros on their toes.
The Blues might have exited the Capital One Cup following a 3-0 defeat, but Ricky Holmes believes the future looks bright.
Adam Webster, Jack Whatmough, Dan Butler and Jed Wallace were joined by Nick Awford, who was making his full debut.
Pompey had five academy graduates on the pitch at Stoke.
“The senior pros have to up their game because we know they’re hot on our heels and ready to give the gaffer a selection headache.”
Jonathan Walters’ brace and a late Peter Crouch header put paid to Pompey’s cup hopes, but Holmes is happy to focus on the league.
He said: “Stoke are Premier League opposition, but they showed us plenty of respect. Fair play, because they didn’t just send their kids out.
“Our main objective is the league. Are we really going to win the Capital One Cup? Probably not.
“They had chances and Paul Jones kept us in it, but we can hold our heads high – and so can the fans, who were magnificent. “We’ve enjoyed our experience in the competition, but that’s out of the way now and we’ll crack on in the league on Saturday.”