Portsmouth manager Kenny Jackett has defended the involvement of under-21s teams in this season's Checkatrade Trophy after his side won the final at Wembley on Sunday.
With the score level at 1-1 after 90 minutes, extra-time was required for the first and only time in the competition throughout the current campaign.
Jamal Lowe thought he had won the game for Pompey in the second period of extra-time, only for Sunderland to level in the last minute through Aiden McGeady.
That made it 2-2 and sent the game to penalties, where Black Cats midfielder Lee Cattermole was the only player to miss. He was denied by goalkeeper Craig MacGillivray, with Ollie Hawkins converting the winning kick for Portsmouth.
One of the main criticisms of the Checkatrade Trophy by fans this season is the involvement of under-21 sides for top-level academies.
The rules regarding under-21 teams say that 'Academy teams must start at least six players aged 21 or under as at 30 June 2018. Those teams can only include two players over the age of 21 who have made 40 or more senior appearances prior to 2018/19.'
'The 16 Academy teams and 48 League One and League Two clubs taking part will be split into 16 groups of four. Academy sides will play all group matches away from home.'
Speaking in his post-match press conference, Jackett stated that the involvement of the under-21 teams is key for the development of younger players.
"I think the competition is a good one," Jackett said, "I do think the Under-21 involvement from the big clubs is good because we all talk for the good of the game, about getting the younger player experience.
"All of the big clubs, if you like, coming into this competition offers that and it has done that with us as well, at the moment we have a category three academy but we still want to produce players through our academy.
"In the earlier rounds we had three appearances from a 16-year-old in this particular competition, which is quite a big one, and I think it is a very good competition."
The Portsmouth boss also hailed the character of his players as they held their nerve in the penalty shootout
Jackett told Sky Sports Football: "We had worked on them and had an idea of who would want the penalty and who wouldn't and also who has taken them before - that's a big one.
"But I've got to say the keeper made a key save and sometimes when you concede like that at the end it can get away from you emotionally in a penalty shootout, so we showed a lot of character to get five out of five."