Starlet vying for Pompey starting spot

Ashley Harris celebrates with Doncaster match-winner Marko Futacs on Saturday
Ashley Harris celebrates with Doncaster match-winner Marko Futacs on Saturday
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Ashley Harris is pushing for a full Pompey debut tonight after his impressive Doncaster turn.

Michael Appleton has admitted he is weighing up giving the 18-year-old a start against Crystal Palace at Fratton Park this evening.

The Purbrook youngster caught the eye on the right wing at the weekend after being introduced for the second half at the Keepmoat Stadium.

He was an influential performer as the Blues recovered from 2-0 down to claim a remarkable 4-3 triumph, with two last-gasp goals.

And Appleton admits Harris is in his thoughts as he decides the make-up of his side for the visit of Palace.

He said: ‘The good thing about young kids is they don’t really feel the pressure. They go and play with a willingness to try to do well.

‘If I was to play Ash tonight, he would take it in his stride and love every moment of it.

‘He’s a local lad and it would be in front of his own fans. Every time he gets the ball – even if he gave it away – they would cheer him, so he’s not exactly going to feel the pressure from that point of view.

‘I’ve got a few options now regarding selection so it’s about which one I am going to go with.

‘Doncaster was a good opportunity for him. I felt the team needed a bit of a lift and I thought Ash was the right choice at that right time.

‘He did well. He was very sensible in possession, kept it nice and simple at times and got a couple of efforts on goal.

‘What pleased me more than anything was intelligence. He got himself into some really good opportunities, and out of possession it was exactly what we needed on that right-hand side as well.’