Caretaker boss happy to give Close and May minutes
With nothing more than pride left to play for, it was the perfect occasion for Pompey to blood some youngsters.
Ben Close was handed his first league start in a 1-0 defeat to high-flying Bury at Fratton Park, while academy prospect Adam May came off the bench.
A lengthy injury list also played its part, of course, with a knee problem forcing James Dunne to pull out on the morning of the game.
But Gary Waddock was pleased to be able to give some more experience to a couple of teenagers.
The caretaker Blues boss said: “The opportunities came about because they’re very good players and also because we’ve got a lot of injuries.
“Adam came on and looked comfortable and we want to continue giving players minutes in the final couple of games.
“Dunney was due to play and we prepared for the game with him in the side, but we got a call in the morning that he had a slight problem.
“Now we’ll have to dust ourselves down and see who’s available for the next match.”
Ryan Lowe’s header just before the interval proved the difference between the sides in a game of few clear-cut openings.
Waddock said: “We played extremely well throughout the course of the first half, only to concede late on after we switched off.
“But credit to Bury because they managed the game extremely well after the break.
“We didn’t move the ball quickly enough in the middle or the final third of the pitch to hurt them, although they are where they are for a reason.
“I was pleased with the overall performance, but disappointed that, yet again, we haven’t managed to get a result.
“Their players came off afterwards and said it was a smash and grab – I would have to agree with that.
“But the fans will expect more from us and a club of this size should be challenging where Bury are.”