DAN BUTLER has been backed to take his Johnstone’s Paint Trophy chance, if it arrives tonight.
Butler is pushing for another start as Pompey go to Yeovil in the southern section first round.
And Ricky Holmes has tipped the left-back to seize his opportunity, should Andy Awford hand it to him.
The 20-year-old was given his second full outing of the season last week in the Capital One Cup.
Butler impressed in the defeat at the Britannia Stadium against Premier League opposition.
Nicky Shorey returned against Newport County on Saturday.
But Awford will be expected to shuffle his pack again for the meeting with the League One side.
Holmes expects Butler to deliver another strong performance if called upon for the game.
He said: ‘Who’s going to play left-back?
‘Dan Butler was our best player at Stoke.
‘Nicky Shorey wasn’t at the game and is our best player.
‘So we have competition all the over pitch.
‘Dan was magnificent in that game and now has to take that into his next game.
‘That could come at Yeovil.
‘Then he’s really pushing for a start in the league.
‘He’s going up against an ex-England international.
‘You can’t have anyone better to learn from.
‘If he takes everything on board he’ll have a great career.’
Awford made eight changes for the Stoke game last weekend, from the side which faced Oxford previously.
And he followed that up with another six changes on Saturday.
Nick Awford was handed his full debut last week and did himself justice against top-flight opposition.
Butler, Jack Whatmough, Jed Wallace and Adam Webster were the other Pompey young guns in the starting 11.
There could be more of the same tomorrow.
Holmes said: ‘Dan did well, but it’s the same with all the young lads: Dan, Webbo, Nick Awford and even Jed is a young pup still. It looks bright for the future as a squad.’
– JORDAN CROSS