Birmingham boss addresses his youthful team selection after falling to Portsmouth defeat

Pep Clotet has no regrets after his Birmingham youngsters crashed out of the Carabao Cup at Pompey.

Kenny Jackett’s troops cruised to a 3-0 first-round victory at Fratton Park last night.

Ellis Harrison opened his account with a fine double following his £450,000 summer arrival from Ipswich, while Ben Close was also on target.

Birmingham made nine changes from their Championship curtain-raiser win at Brentford on Saturday – including Jude Bellingham becoming the St Andrew’s side’s youngster player in the club’s history aged 16 years and 38 days.

Ellis Harrison was denied a hat-trick against Birmingham. Picture: Robin Jones.

But Pompey's nous and experience proved too potent for the visitors.

Nevertheless, Clotet felt it was a vital his fledgling talents got a chance to enhance their development.

The Birmingham boss told his club’s website: ‘I knew it wasn't going to be easy for our young players, but I feel it is really important that if we have a chance to show off our young players and our academy, then we do that.

‘I knew that it was going to be tough but it makes me proud to see the talent that we have coming through and was a short pain but for us shows the future is bright with so many youngsters being involved in and around the first team set up.

‘It was another step in their development and I am proud of that.’