The message to emerging Portsmouth starlet after Trophy horror show

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The summer arrival from Glentoran had a tough night against AFC Wimbledon in the Bristol Street Motors Trophy.

Terry Devlin has been backed to bounce back from his Trophy nightmare.

And the Northern Ireland prospect has been tipped to grow from his struggles in the AFC Wimbledon defeat.

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Devlin had a night to forget in the 5-2 Bristol Street Motors Trophy humbling by the League Two side at Fratton Park on Tuesday night. The 19-year-old gifted possession to the opposition, which led to two goals being conceded in the second round clash,

It was clearly an experience which weighed heavily on the teenager’s shoulders, but team-mate Joe Rafferty had words of comfort for the summer arrival from Glentoran. And the experienced Scouser believes it’s a night Devlin will grow from.

He said: ‘I’ve had plenty of games like those in my career - it’s nothing new to me!

‘There’s a couple of them who were in there after the game and a bit down. Terry was down and I put my arm around in him in the dressing room and gave him a little hug and what have you.

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‘We’ve seen Terry play in the league and how good he can be. He made a couple of mistakes, but he wasn’t the only one - there was a load of mistakes.

‘I’ve made plenty of mistakes in my career and I’ve cost goals or my man has got the better of me. He’ll be fine - it’s how you move on from it and learn from it. I’m sure he will be fine because he’s a top pro and a top lad.’

Devlin’s season has undoubtedly developed at a pace, with two league starts amid 18 appearances now under his belt. Rafferty feels the biggest insight into the belief in the midfielder from the dressing room, if there would be total conviction in his ability if he started against Fleetwood this weekend.

And he is certain that sentiment would be echoed among the Fratton faithful.

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He added: ‘We all know here the fans will get straight behind him again here. It is what it is. He’s a top pro and he’ll learn from it. I’m sure all we would all be 100 per cent fine with him if he came out and started on Saturday. That’s the main thing, he’s a good lad and he’ll learn from it.’

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