May: Switch to Fratton gives Pompey advantage

Adam May admitted his disappointment at being denied the chance of playing at Stamford Bridge.

Tuesday, 9th January 2018, 11:00 am
Pompey midfielder Adam May Picture: Joe Pepler

But the fledgling midfielder believes home advantage will benefit Pompey against Chelsea under-21s in the Checkatrade Trophy tonight (7.45pm).

The third-round tie was originally scheduled to take place at the Premier League outfit’s west London stadium.

However, with Antonio Conte’s side hosting Arsenal in the Carabao Cup semi-final first leg a day later, the Football League allowed tonight’s game to be switched to Fratton Park.

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May was relishing the opportunity to make an appearance at Chelsea’s historic ground.

Nevertheless, the Blues academy graduate insists Kenny Jackett’s troops will now fancy their chances even more on their own patch.

‘I’m a little bit disappointed the game isn’t at Stamford Bridge,’ said May.

‘Everyone said the tie was away and we got ourselves psyched up to play at Stamford Bridge a little bit.

‘But it’s still going to be the same game and we’ll fancy ourselves even more at Fratton Park now.

‘I was buzzing (when I saw the draw).

‘I’ve never played there before.

‘It was a great opportunity to play there – I’m not sure what the turnout would have been because it’s the Checkatrade Trophy and fans don’t always come to those games – but now it’s at Fratton and we have a good chance to win the game.

‘It gives us a little bit of an advantage.

‘We’re at home in front of our fans and we’re always going to fancy ourselves – even if it was away we’re going to fancy our chances – but I do see the benefits of it.’

Chelsea under-21s feature a host of youth internationals, including England under-17 World Cup winner Callum Hudson-Odoi, as well as full Wales international Ethan Ampadu.

May isn’t too familiar with the Stamford Bridge youngsters but is expecting a tough battle.

He added: ‘I don’t really know many of their players.

‘I’ve heard a few of the names and they’ve got some good young internationals so it will be a very good test.

‘They have a talented squad and that’s shown throughout the years in the FA Youth Cup.

‘Their under-23s are very strong and have players representing England at under-17s, under-18s and all the way up so it’ll be a tough game.’