'No excuses' - Portsmouth youngster gives mature verdict on 5-1 defeat to Peterborough

Harry Kavanagh. Picture: Nigel KeeneHarry Kavanagh. Picture: Nigel Keene
Harry Kavanagh. Picture: Nigel Keene
Harry Kavanagh made no excuses about Pompey’s defeat to Peterborough and admitted: we should have done better.

Kenny Jackett named a weakened side for the Papa John’s Trophy clash at London Road, making 10 changes from Sunday’s loss at Bristol City.

Among them were youngsters like Kavanagh, Harvey Rew and Harry Jewitt-White, along with a debut for Duncan Turnbull in goal.

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In contrast, Peterborough put out a full-strength starting XI that included League One top scorer Jonson Clarke-Harris, Premier League-linked forward Siriki Dembele and ex-Blues favourite Nathan Thompson.

Pompey were second best throughout the contest and suffered a 5-1 defeat.

But despite the Posh having a significantly stronger side out, Kavanagh felt the Blues should have been more competitive.

The third-year scholar said: ‘They are a good side. Before the match, it wasn’t going to be easy.

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‘They play some good football, are doing well in League One and when you looked at their team sheet, it was probably their strongest XI.

‘But there are no excuses – we should have done better. With some of the goals, no matter what team we put out, we have got to give a bit more and it’s disappointing.

‘It was probably their strongest XI but whether they play their under-18s or that team, the result is what matters and we’ve got to do better.’

Kavanagh made his second appearance for his boyhood club after his Pompey bow against West Ham under-21s in November.

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The London Road clash was his first since the clash with the Hammers, having been unable to return to Gosport Borough on loan because their Southern League campaign has been suspended.

While Kavanagh was disappointed with the scoreline, it gave him a glimpse of the levels he needs to reach if he’s to become a Blues regular in the future.

The former Cowplain School pupil added: ‘It wasn’t easy, especially for me because I hadn’t played for two months now and it’s been a long time.

‘They’re a top team with some big players so it makes you think how good the standard, realise what you’ve got to do to it.

‘I’ve got to keep working hard and hopefully get there.

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‘It 100 per cent was the toughest test of my career. It is not easy playing against some good, good players and play some good football.

‘But that is standard and if I want to be playing at that level then I’ve got to get to that.’