Mikey Harris applauded his gutsy Pompey side after they slipped to a late loss to Manchester City.
The Blues’ Academy outfit stood firm against last season’s FA Youth Cup finalists with a gutsy Fratton Park showing last night.
A crowd of 1,779 saw Harvey Bradbury’s 70th-minute strike cancel out Lukas Nmecha’s early opener.
However, Brahim Diaz’s individual goal nine minutes before the full-time whistle sealed a 2-1 victory for the visitors.
Under-18s boss Harris was adamant his players deserved the standing ovation given to them by a packed South Stand after the final whistle.
He said: ‘They showed great commitment, great desire and great work-rate to match one of the – if not the – best academies in the country and a team I believe will probably go on and win the FA Youth Cup.
‘Let’s put things into perspective, City are a Category 1 Academy that have invested millions into their facilities, they have great staff and talented players recruited from all over the world.
‘We are a Category 3 Academy, we recruit from about 30 minutes around Fratton Park.
‘When you put it into perspective everyone can be very, very proud of what the boys achieved last night, including the fans who came out in their numbers.
‘Given the delayed kick-off, the traffic, the weather, almost 2,000 of them present was incredible – and they showed what they thought of the boys by staying to clap them off.’