Leam Richardson praised Pompey’s emerging talent who were given their chance to shine against the champions.
The Blues fell to a 2-1 loss to Northampton today to ensure they will have to travel to Plymouth for the second leg of their play-off showdown next weekend.
Brandon Haunstrup, Ben Close and Jack Whatmough were handed starts against the Cobblers.
And they were joined by Adam May in the second half, with Ben Tollitt also given playing time.
Assistant manager Richardson felt the way they handled the occasion was a big box ticked for his side.
He said: ‘The result isn’t what we wanted.
‘But we’ve seen glimpses of our young lads and the future is very bright here.
‘The result isn’t great but we’ve ticked boxes in terms of that.
‘We wanted to win and the manager made that clear.
‘But we have big games coming up so some players didn’t play and couldn’t play.
‘The focus is obviously on Thursday and Sunday.’