Pompey Academy relishing visit of Manchester City

Mikey Harris. Picture: Joe Pepler
Mikey Harris. Picture: Joe Pepler
  • Pompey defeated Bristol Rovers 3-1 on penalties after a 3-3 scoreline following extra-time
  • Forthcoming opponents Manchester City lost to Chelsea in last season’s final

The silence has been broken – now everyone within Pompey’s Academy set-up are talking about Manchester City.

Under-18s boss Mikey Harris had banned the very mention of the Premier League leaders in the build-up to Tuesday night’s trip to Bristol Rovers.

The boys have not been allowed to talk about it, it has not entered our minds. Now they have a great opportunity to enjoy the build up and everything that surrounds it

Mikey Harris

The FA Youth Cup draw for the following round had already been made, ensuring both clubs knew the opposition which lay in wait.

That was a home match against Manchester City, last season’s finalists in the competition.

Pompey’s penalty shoot-out triumph at the Memorial Stadium ensured they booked the date rather than Rovers.

And having been unmentionable before, Harris cannot help but relish facing the top-flight side.

He said: ‘What a tie. To draw the team at the top of the Premier League and I would imagine the most financially-backed Academy in the country is a test for the boys to see where they are at in terms of their performance levels.

‘It is also good for me personally because Jason Wilcox, who is a coach there, is a mate of mine and a top, top bloke!

‘Before Tuesday night’s game he texted and I responded with “Hopefully the boys will put in a performance and we will get a result”.

‘He replied back saying “Don’t worry about the performance, just get the result!”.

‘Manchester City have some quality in their team and probably if they sold them all could fund our entire club for a period of time.

‘For us it is a great challenge and that is what the FA Cup and FA Youth Cup is all about.

‘I am excited for the boys, we’ve had some decent ties over the last few years. For instance, Bolton last year was a big game.

‘But Manchester City is a different standard altogether.

‘The boys have not been allowed to talk about it, it has not entered our minds.

‘Now they have a great opportunity to enjoy the build up and everything that surrounds it.’

The date for the third round fixture has yet to be finalised, although it will take place at Fratton Park.

And Harris is hoping for a bumper turnout when the match is played.

He added: ‘I would like to think the Fratton faithful would come out for that match.

‘We have the greatest supporters in the country in my opinion and I think they will come out and back the boys.

‘If we can get a couple of thousand then we can all have a right go and see what we can do.’