Youths head to Portsmouth

Tony Carr will travel to the south coast on Saturday morning with two Academy teams set to take on Portsmouth.

Both the Under-18s and the Under-16s will face Pompey hoping for victories for slightly different reasons. The U16s will be hoping to maintain their 100 per cent start to the season, while the U18s will be looking to build on two consecutive draws to help them pick up their first win since the opening day success at Everton.

"We've got two teams going to Portsmouth on Saturday, the Under-16s and the Under-18s," Academy director Carr said. "The U16s have had a terrific start to the season and have won every game in fact.

"The U18s have been a little bit indifferent although we've hit a bit of consistency recently and had a credible draw last weekend against Crystal Palace."

With a reserve-team match on Monday, Carr will have to do without some of his first-team regulars. But as one door shuts another one opens and the gaps in the squad will lead to chances for others, most notably 15-year-old forward Dylan Tombides.

"We're going to blood a young schoolboy called Dylan Tombides who has done very well for us. He'll make his full debut.

"He's a striker and is not 16 until next March. He's had a couple of sub appearances so this will be his first start. We've had a few injuries so it's an opportunity for Dylan to show us what he can do."