Portsmouth defender shares fans’ frustrations after calls for giving youth a chance in matches against Gillingham, Wigan and Sheffield Wednesday last season were ignored
Following the Blues’ April stalemate with Morecambe, banishing play-off hopes, remaining fixtures against Gillingham, Wigan and Sheffield Wednesday were all-but meaningless.
In the eyes of many fans, it presented the opportunity for Danny Cowley to introduce less experienced players and academy hopefuls into his first-team.
Instead the head coach resisted temptation, opting to field three strong sides as they recorded two wins and a defeat.
When asked if he was disappointed not to play last term, the 19-year-old said: ‘Of course. After being out for such a long time, you find yourself on the bench.
‘There was nothing really to play for in a sense at that period of the season, so getting on the pitch is something that’s on the back of your mind.
‘Anyone would be disappointed especially when Jay (Mingi) had made a couple of substitute appearances, it was frustrating. But it will come when the time’s right and ultimately it’s the gaffer’s decision.’
He added: ‘Making my debut is definitely the aim, regardless of the competition. Obviously you want to make your debut because I think it’s a big thing and it puts you on the map.
‘I think it will be a little overwhelming because the Pompey fans are unbelievable.
‘Coming from non-league, I haven’t experienced those types of crowds. Even when you’re just warming up and sitting on the bench at Fratton, the atmosphere is always electric – whether we’re winning or losing.
‘That is another reason you want to get on the pitch and show what you can do.’