Harris calls for Pompey Academy consistency

MIKEY HARRIS has demanded greater consistency following another volatile performance from Pompey's kids.

Wednesday, 8th March 2017, 6:32 pm
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 11:10 am
Theo Widdrington. Picture: Neil Marshall

The Academy’s under-18s slumped to a 4-3 defeat at Northampton last weekend in Merit League Two.

However, the visitors almost pulled off a stunning fight back having been 4-0 down at one stage.

A second-half rally kicked off on 65 minutes, with goals arriving from Jack Chandler, Theo Widdrington and Tommy Scutt.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

There was no equaliser, unfortunately, as the Cobblers negotiated the scare to hold onto victory.

Certainly positives and negatives over the entire 90 minutes for coach Harris to reflect on.

And he is keen to remove that erratic nature to ensure the Blues’ talented youngsters can fulfil their potential.

Harris said: ‘Standards have to be set over a 90-minute period rather than just patches.

‘The key word we always mention is consistency, you cannot go from being 9/10 one week to 3/10 the following week.

‘The worry is if they are inconsistent it’s a far cry from the cauldron of Fratton Park when you could be 1-0 down with 10 minutes to go.

‘They must show consistency at this level and then, when appropriate, take that onto the next level, whether it be the under-23s or seniors.

‘They will always find their level and we hope for some of our players that will be Pompey’s first-team, some Premier League first-teams, while the reality for some of the others is possibly a level of non-league.

‘Everyone will find their level and we must try to help them find it and be the best they can be.

‘Against Northampton, the group showed their best and worst characteristics over a period of 90 minutes.

‘For half the match we were awful with the ball, poor defensively and individual errors cost us. As a team we were a little disjointed.

‘However, the way they finished was really good and if the game had continued for another 20 minutes probably would have won it.

‘But you cannot give yourself a mountain to climb, recovering from 4-0 down is a huge, huge challenge.

‘As a group, they tend to respond really, really well to things that happen externally, such as falling two goals behind or having someone sent off.

‘What they must do, though, is also find that extra spark to motivate and drive themselves to success.’

Pompey’s under-18s are next in action on Saturday when they face Yeovil at Furze Lane. The match kicks off at 11am.