Guy Whittingham hailed Jed Wallace’s full league debut as a chink of light to emerge from the gloom of Hartlepool defeat.
Wallace delivered a goalscoring performance as his side fell to a 3-1 loss to the Monkey Hangers on Saturday,
The 18-year-old bagged a smartly-taken second-half strike to cap a fine full league debut.
Wallace wasn’t overawed by the occasion for a second and added an energy and enthusiasm to Pompey’s play.
That earned praise from caretaker boss Whittingham.
Whittingham feels there is still a long way to go in Wallace’s development.
But there was plenty to be encouraged about in his display.
Whittingham said: ‘Jed showed great energy and took his goal fantastically well.
‘I thought he worked well in both shapes we played. He played well.
‘He’s a confident lad Jed, and he is that on the football pitch.
‘He’s a young lad learning the game who played well.
‘He still needs to learn and that’s the point of putting him in.
‘I’m very pleased with his overall performance.
‘Sometimes his final quality can be lacking, but he will get better at that.
‘By that, I mean making the right choices at the right times. But he’ll improve on that front.’
Dan Butler was another making his full league debut after being added to the first-team squad.
The left-back also shone as Pompey employed a wing-back formation and was up and back throughout the game, as well as providing good delivery.
The 18-year-old came unstuck when he was caught in possession for the third goal as the Blues chased the game.
Whittingham refused to be too harsh on him for that and was happy with what he saw in his play.
He said: ‘I was pleased for Dan Butler. It’s hard for kids coming into a team that isn’t doing well.
‘But I thought he was positive in what he did.
‘We have to keep encouraging him to be positive. He’s got a good left peg. That’s why he was on some of the set-pieces. We were sure we could make use of his delivery, and we did that.
‘He’s learning the game and had a great performance up to that mistake for the third goal.People were pushing forward and we got caught.’
– JORDAN CROSS