Paul Cook stood by his decision to field a youthful Pompey side as they crashed out of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy with a 2-0 defeat at Exeter.
Cook said: ‘We’re disappointed to go out.
‘The team was picked for a specific reason and I thought they were excellent – I really, really did.
‘I think our travelling support can go home knowing that the undercurrent of young talent is really good.
‘I think there is a pathway into our team for everyone.
‘It’s part of your football education.
‘We’re pleased with how the season is going. We’re disappointed to be out of the competition but it was a great experience for the young lads.’