POMPEY’S Academy look to return to winning ways at table-topping Plymouth Argyle on Saturday.
And the under-18s will be facing a Pilgrims side with revenge on their minds after being dumped out of the FA Youth Cup by the Blues.
It’s probably fair to say it was a closer game than the scoreline suggested.Mikey Harris
Pompey romped to a hugely-impressive 3-0 success at Home Park at the end of October.
That paved the way for next month’s exciting clash with Manchester City – after Bristol Rovers were dispatched on penalties last week.
Plymouth will, no doubt, be hungry to put that result right when they meet again.
They currently top the Youth Alliance South West League and have suffered just two defeats from 12 league games this season.
Pompey will be looking to bounce back from defeat against Cheltenham last weekend.
They went down to a 3-2 defeat at Furze Lane as they failed to turn their dominance into a win.
Academy coach Mikey Harris knows the side will face a tough task returning to winning ways against a fired-up opposition.
He said: ‘Plymouth are an excellent team.
‘We played very, very well in the FA Youth Cup and managed to turn them over.
‘They are a very good side and a very strong side.
‘It’ll be a tough game.’
Adam May, Kaleem Haitham and Calvin Davies got the goals which resulted in the Argyle cup win.
The first of those goals arrived just before the interval but Pompey then had to withstand pressure from the home side after the break.
They handled that, however, against powerful opposition before putting the game out of sight.
Harris was the first to admit the scoreline in the cup perhaps flattered his side.
He said: ‘It’s probably fair to say it was a closer game than the scoreline suggested.
‘We played well, particularly in the first half.
‘We were delighted to come away with a 3-0 win.
‘We would have taken a 1-0 or any result to progress.’
Pompey will face an early start as they make the trip along the coast for the Plymouth game.
Harris is ready to embrace that trek but, underlined – as is always the case in his mind at Academy level – the performance will outweigh the result in terms of importance.
He said: ‘It’s a long way to go on a Saturday morning.
‘It’s a pre-6am leave for us. A nice close one!
‘It’s one we are looking forward to, though, and it’s a good test for the boys.
‘If we can get a result there that’ll be great. More importantly, however, we need to go there and put in a decent performance.’