Pompey boss set to bring in youngsters

Sam Magri is in line to be given a taste of first-team football during Pompey's run-in
Sam Magri is in line to be given a taste of first-team football during Pompey's run-in

Michael Appleton is planning to unleash Pompey’s home-grown young guns over the Championship finale.

The Blues boss has revealed the array of talented teenagers around his squad will get playing time as the season comes to a close.

Appleton has warned he has no intention of throwing in all the youngsters at the deep end en-masse.

But he plans to run the rule over the players in the cut and thrust of the English game’s second tier in the next four games.

That decision appears to open the door for playing time for the likes of Ashley Harris, Adam Webster and Sam Magri – all local lads.

Appleton has made it clear the future of Pompey will have a heavy slant towards youth under his stewardship.

Webster and Harris have both had cameo outings, with Magri featuring on the bench.

Now the Pompey manager wants to see how some of the exciting starlets deal with more playing time.

And Appleton has the two remaining home fixtures in his sights, in particular.

He said: ‘I’m sure over the next four games some of the younger players will get a bit of football.

‘Obviously, there are two or three of the boys who I would have thought are excited because they’ve been in and around the first team at Championship level.

‘I don’t think it would be responsible of me to throw them all in.

‘But I’m sure at some point in the coming games they are going to get minutes on the pitch.

‘It would be a good idea for me to have a look at them for next season as well.

‘So I’m sure they are excited about that and looking forward to that, as I’m sure some of the fans are.

‘I’d like to see them get the chance to do it in front of their own fans.’

Appleton’s initial assessment of the youngsters at the club has been positive.

That has seen Academy players regularly joining the first-team squad in training.

He believes there are teenagers coming through the ranks who have a role to play for Pompey going forward.

Appleton feels it is down to those players to then seize the opportunity and show that faith is well placed.

He said: ‘I’m sure they will be desperate at some point between now and the end of the season, or pre-season or the start of next season, to prove they can be a full member of the first-team squad and be there for years to come.

‘I expect two or three of them to do that and then it’s down to them.

‘If they are good enough they will do that. If not we will get people in who can do it.’