POMPEY ACADEMY coach Mikey Harris praised his side’s second-half reaction, following the Blues’ stunning 6-1 Youth Alliance League south west division rout of Newport County on Saturday.
Having dominated the opening 45 minutes to lead 2-0 at the break, the visitors were caught out by a well-worked free-kick, as their counterparts cut the deficit straight after the restart.
Conceding the goal clicked the lads back in to working within the team frameworkPompey Academy coach Mikey Harris
In truth, Harris’ side should have sewn up the points long before the interval, only for the Exiles to grab a foothold in the game.
Impressively, though, that served to reignite a rampant Pompey side, who reverted back to their team framework to fire four more unanswered goals in an eye-catching attacking display in Wales.
Harris said: ‘Conceding the goal clicked the lads back in to working within the team framework.
‘The minute they did that and regathered their discipline and composure, they had success.
‘We found success from passing the ball, being patient and retaining possession.
‘The nice thing for me is a lot of what we worked on over the past few weeks clicked into place.
‘It is always nice when that happens and the boys get success from it.
‘It reinforced the work you do on the training ground and that’s what football is about.
‘It is about transferring what you do on the training ground and the standards you have set onto a matchday and then going in there and putting on a performance.
‘That’s certainly what seemed to happen on Saturday.’
Having dominated proceedings only to see their lead halved, it was the mentality as well as the Blues’ application that pleased Harris.
‘You look at the four-corner model that we work with and the right side is all about the psychological and social side of the game, which in my opinion is huge,’ said Harris.
‘You can have all the technical and physical ability in the world but if you are not able to regulate your emotions and deal with setbacks and mistakes then you are going to struggle to progress in this very tough industry.
‘We talk about the standards that we set and good is not enough, it has got to be excellent.
‘That is the only way you are going to progress – by setting a standard of excellence and performing at that level consistently, which we did after their goal.’
Pompey Academy will look to extend their unbeaten start to the Youth Alliance League south west season when they welcome Exeter City to Furze Lane on Saturday (11.30am).
Striker Harvey Bradbury is a doubt but fellow forward Liam Sayers returns.
– JEFF MARSHMAN