Mark Kelly believes Jordan Brooks and Matt Mayes are gaining valuable experience on loan at struggling Gosport Borough.
The Pompey Academy duo have been thrown in at the deep at Privett Park where Alex Pike’s side are scrapping for their Southern League premier division lives.
Rooted to the foot of the table and four points from safety, Borough’s last league win came on December 6.
They have picked up just two points from a possible 36 in 2018 as the drop looms large.
Brooks and Mayes have both featured regularly since joining the club in February.
Kelly is not concerned about the high-pressure situation the pair find themselves in and insists it is a great learning curve.
Football is football and when you play for three points on a Saturday then you certainly find out what the game is all about – especially where Gosport areMark Kelly
The Blues’ youth chief said: ‘It’s all good experience. It’s part of the football fabric and it’s important for them.
‘Football is football and when you play for three points on a Saturday then you certainly find out what the game is all about – especially where Gosport are.
‘It’s at that crucial point of the season where Gosport need to gather some points.
‘That increases the lads’ learning curve greatly about the expectation.’
Brooks has started the past three games in the centre of Borough’s midfield.
The Jamaica and Canada youth international was lauded by Pike after his side’s 4-2 defeat to Redditch United.
Meanwhile, Mayes has made four appearances, grabbing minutes from the start and off the bench.
Kelly added: ‘Jordan has been doing a very good job for them and they are very pleased with him. He’s stamped his bit of authority on the team.
‘Jordy is a big, powerful boy and doesn’t give anything away on that side of things on a senior level.
‘I’ve seen him in the under-23s and he’s got to learn how quickly the game goes on around him.
‘Nevertheless, at that kind of level, he’s comfortable playing and he’s not worried about it. Since he’s been over there he’s done well.
‘Matty Mayes has been in and out of the starting line-up but they have been very complimentary of how he has been doing.
‘We always try to have our eyes on them when we can. I’ve been over and so has Shaun (North).
‘They don’t go over there and they’re forgotten about. We watch as much as we can.’