Steve Cotterill has ruled out sending young prospect Ryan Williams out on loan as he takes a closer look at him in America.
The Australian 17-year-old winger has joined the rest of the Blues squad for the 12-day trip with local boy Lewis Stockford also in the travelling party.
Defender Lewis Tallack was also set to join up with the squad but a hamstring injury ended his hopes of catching the manager’s eye, while it was deemed that Sam Magri needed a breather after his exertions for England under-17s this summer and stayed at home.
Having given the young duo opportunities in both of Pompey’s pre-season games so far, Cotterill clearly sees something in them.
And in Williams, he sees a player of potential who needs some intensive guidance under the manager’s careful supervision.
Cotterill said: ‘I definitely think he needs a bit of guidance.
‘You want him to be a scallywag out on the pitch, you just don’t want him to be a scallywag off it.
‘I don’t think he’s done anything bad – I just think he’s got a bit of a tinker in him.
‘I like that but I want to have a closer look at him.
‘In two weeks in America, I will find out everything I need to know about him, that’s for sure.’
While Cotterill has previously advocated sending some of his younger players out on loan in a bid to boost experience, he believes Williams may not be physically ready for the demands of the Football League just yet.
Cotterill said: ‘Ryan’s got a bit of pace and he’s quite aggressive.
‘But I don’t see him going out on loan and I don’t see him being in our first-team squad just yet.
‘He’s too skinny and small at the moment to go out on loan.
‘He gets bumped every day in training. Because he’s sharp, he gets kicked and gets dusted off by other players.
‘But I like the fact that he keeps getting up.’
Cotterill added: ‘In the time he’s been over here from Australia, he’s done what he wanted to do when he wanted to do it in the youth team.
‘Now he’s got to do it when we want him to do it.
‘I don’t want to be in his ear all the time, I just want to have a look at him.’
Just being part of the first-team squad is bound to help the pair in the short term with the older heads at the club leading the way.
And coming on as substitutes to play against Chelsea at the weekend will not have done them any harm either.
Cotterill said: ‘You could see that Lewis Stockford learnt quite a lot against Havant & Waterlooville in the first game. That’s why we sent him back on the pitch again.
‘I don’t think playing young players in a one-off game helps their development all that much.They would need a season of that to see the difference.
‘One game won’t help development, but it will definitely help their experience.
‘But we’ve got some good experienced players who will guide the younger players for the rest of their careers.’