Fratton faithful urged to aid Pompey Academy upset attempt

Paul Cook Picture: Joe Pepler
Paul Cook Picture: Joe Pepler
MK Dons manager Robbie Neilson

Pompey v MK Dons: the opposition view

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The Fratton faithful have been urged to come out in their numbers to inspire an improbable Pompey Academy triumph.

That is the call to arms from Paul Cook as Mikey Harris’ side take on Manchester City in the third round of the FA Youth Cup at Fratton Park tonight (7pm).

They have got a good group, a bit of camaraderie and good work ethic – they’ll not go short tonight of courage, desire or any of those qualities.

Paul Cook

Victory is clearly a big ask for the Blues, who will face a City side who currently top the Premier League Under-18s north division and reached the final last season.

But Pompey’s youngsters displayed plenty of guts to fight back from two goals down and beat Bristol Rovers on penalties in the previous round.

And Cook has urged supporters to lend their help in inflicting what would be a massive FA Cup shock.

He said: ‘This will be a great night for them. There’s a lot made of the young lads that have come through the club, it is there for all to see.

‘And tonight they will be able to showcase the next generation of young Portsmouth lads coming through.

‘It would be great for them to get a good crowd to help them in their task – and I am sure there will be.

‘I don’t think anyone could highlight how difficult the game will be, you are talking about a free-spending club who recruit from all over the world and spend heavily on its Academy.

‘There will be a gulf in class, but it doesn’t necessarily mean we will lose the game.

‘Our lads did great at Plymouth and Bristol Rovers in previous rounds, I went to see both. They have got a good group, a bit of camaraderie and good work ethic – they’ll not go short tonight of courage, desire or any of those qualities.

‘We’ll have to see whether Manchester City have too much quality in the end.’

City slickers

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