Pompey Reserves step up glory bid

Paul Hardyman. Picture: Joe Pepler
Paul Hardyman. Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey's Brett Pitman scores a penalty in the Blues' 1-1 draw against Walsall at Fratton Park. Picture: Joe Pepler/Digital South.

Picture gallery: Pompey 1 Walsall 1

  • Reserves on brink of semi-final appearance
  • Hardyman’s men also second in the league
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Pompey’s reserves will step up their bid for a league and cup double when Bristol City visit today (1pm).

Paul Hardyman’s side host the Robins at Furze Lane in the Final Third Development League Cup.

The balance is right but you also have to look at the first-team playing on Saturday

Paul Hardyman

Victory would clinch a semi-final spot as one of two qualifiers from southern group B.

Meanwhile, the Blues lie second in the south division table behind leaders Luton with a game in hand.

However, they are scheduled to visit the Hatters on Tuesday (2pm) with the opportunity to close the gap.

A strong Pompey side defeated Leyton Orient 3-1 on Tuesday afternoon, with Paul McCallum grabbing a hat-trick.

However, with a first-team fixture against Shrewsbury on Saturday, Hardyman has named an Academy squad for today’s match.

And he hopes the youngsters can pull off the required victory to progress in the cup.

Hardyman said: ‘Against Orient we had eight lads who had recently been involved in the first-team and three kids.

‘We also brought three kids off the bench.

‘The balance is right but you also have to look at the first-team playing on Saturday.

‘Some of those will be subs and you cannot have them playing Tuesday and Thursday and then possibly be brought on in the first 15 minutes against Shrewsbury if there is an injury. They will be shattered.

‘You have got to play it right and there have been lots of changes from Tuesday to Thursday, with Academy players brought in.

‘We have used the youngsters at the right times, we have used the senior players at the right times, everyone has got their game time after injury, suspension or because they are out of the team.

‘That is what the reserves is for.

‘We are taking it seriously, I want to win every game.

‘The club have entered this new league and we have approached it seriously.

‘Our reserve fixtures exist for the right reasons, not just for putting teams out, and hopefully we can progress.’

Pompey Reserves (from): Bass, Field, 
Granger, Haunstrup, Davies, Rwakarambwe, May, Chaplin, Joseph-Buadi, Haitham, Sayers, 
Oxlade-Chamberlain, Yates