Boss pleased for Blues debutants
Six players made their Pompey debuts at Exeter in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy.
Fans would have been pleased to see fit-again duo Adam Barton and Kal Naismith in action for the first time since their summer arrivals.
But there were also Blues bows for four academy teenagers, who the travelling support could be forgiven for not recognising.
Right-back Calvin Davies and winger Brandon Joseph-Buadi both started, while Christian Oxlade-Chamberlain and Kaleem Haitham were introduced from the bench.
The fresh-faced Pompey side – with just four players legally allowed to enjoy an alcoholic beverage in America named in the matchday squad – gave a good account of themselves.
And although a Ryan Harley penalty and Alex Nicholls strike ensured it was the Greicans who progressed, Paul Cook was pleased with the performance from his troops.
The Blues boss said: “It was great for us to see the young lads play the game in such a positive manner.
“It was fantastic for so many to make their debuts and it’s an important learning curve for them.
“We were up against a full-strength Exeter team and the lads didn’t do themselves any harm at all.
“I felt we had the best chances in the game and weren’t really put under any great pressure.
“It’s great credit to the guys at the academy that we’ve got so many young players coming through.
“Unfortunately we’ve gone out of the competition, but it allows us to concentrate on our league campaign.”
Pompey were backed by more than 500 fans in Devon, but Cook believes that they will not be too disappointed by the outcome.
He said: “Our supporters were excellent yet again and it was great to see so many of them travel down.
“I think they will have enjoyed watching the youngsters and they can take great heart about the future of their club.”
Watch reaction from assistant manager Leam Richardson and midfielder Adam Barton below or subscribe to Pompey PlayerHD for the full interviews.