JAKE JERVIS thanked Richie Barker for making him feel wanted again.
Jervis made his long awaited return to football against Mansfield on Saturday.
The 22-year-old’s international clearance finally arrived after his contract wrangle with Turkish side Elagzispor was resolved.
The former Birmingham trainee was given a 22-minute run out in the 1-1 draw and injected impetus into Pompey’s play, along with David Connolly.
The striker had good shouts for a penalty ignored after he was brought down by Stags defender Ryan Tafazolli late on.
Jervis admitted he is loving life at Fratton Park after the problems he’s faced.
He is enjoying the link-up with Barker, but is not someone who is new to the Pompey boss.
Barker showed interest in him when he was cutting his managerial teeth at Bury and the hitman was emerging at St Andrews under Lee Clark.
Knowing the new boss appreciates his ability has helped the man who made three loan appearances under Guy Whittingham last season.
And Jervis is enjoying finally getting the chance to work with the Sheffield man.
He said: ‘Training has been great and it’s helped that I’ve been able to get on with the manager.
‘It’s good to know the manager has tried to sign me before. It’s good to have that backing.
‘I’ve been able to work with him in training. I’ve got to know him more and the way he works.
‘He works on specific positions for strikers attacking and defensively. The way he is working is good and I’m enjoying it.’
Jervis has found himself in an extended state of limbo after leaving Turkey.
He has been forced to go through a testing process of training without having the oxygen of match-day minutes.
A single development fixture for the Blues has been his only outing since leaving Elagzispor in May.
That means he is still searching for match fitness. But Jervis is confident he is not too far from being at the required level of sharpness.
‘I haven’t played for three months, and that was in a friendly game,’ he said.
‘Before that, it was at the end of last season in Turkey. I’m not miles off but at the same time I still think there is a bit to go.’
Jervis will be looking for more playing time as Pompey prepare to make the long trip north to play-off-chasing Morecambe on Saturday.
A trip to the Globe Arena may not be covered in glamour, but it is a match the striker is looking forward to.
Morecambe have a mixed record on their own patch, but Barker’s men know they need a return from the game as they find themselves in a dogfight at the foot of the League Two table.
Jervis added: ‘The reality of it is we are looking down the table and not up it.
‘But I’m just enjoying being out there again.
‘It doesn’t take much for things to look a whole lot different. We have to do as well as we can and pick up a few three points.
‘It’s a bit tight but it won’t take much for the club to get back into the middle of the table.’