Concerns over Kieran Djilali’s fitness convinced Michael Appleton to call a halt to his Fratton Park stay.
The former Crystal Palace winger yesterday left Pompey by mutual consent – just two weeks after penning a short-term deal.
During his spell at the club, Djilali lined up three times in pre-season and started the league opener against Bournemouth.
However, on no occasion did he manage to complete a full match.
That prompted Appleton to query the 21-year-old’s fitness levels, hastening a parting of the ways.
He said: ‘We mutually agreed to release Kieran for all sorts of reasons.
‘He probably wasn’t any fitter now than he was when he first came into the football club.
‘We’ve told him if he goes somewhere and wants an opportunity, he has to get much fitter than he is at the minute. He never finished a game.
‘He had to come off in the Bolton game because he was shattered.
‘Against Bournemouth I could have brought him off 20 minutes earlier than I did because he was just literally gasping for air.
‘He has had opportunities but wasn’t at the same level of fitness as the rest of the players.’