Kyle Bennett believes Paul Cook has helped rebuild his confidence.
The lively attacking midfielder missed Friday night’s 2-0 win at Woking as a precaution with a minor knock but is expected to be involved again for the pre-season trip to Gillingham this weekend.
Confidence-wise, I am right back up thereKyle Bennett
Bennett has certainly shown glimpses of his quality in his outings so far and has been tipped to make a major impact on Pompey’s League Two campaign this season.
But the former Doncaster man revealed his move south and some man-management from the Blues boss has added a spring in his step, even though he was initially unsure about dropping into League Two.
Bennett said: ‘No disrespect to Doncaster but I think I needed a change.
‘Sometimes you can stay at one club for too long and I think I was probably going a bit stale.
‘A change for me is massive in making me love the game even more again.
‘There are times when you feel things are not going that great for you.
‘You need that change of scenery and a new challenge.
‘If it’s not going well it can affect your confidence and you just can’t find your best form.
‘But the gaffer here has pulled me right back up again.
‘When I came down for talks with him it was all positive.
‘He spoke about what he wants me to do and how he wants me to play.
‘Confidence-wise, I am right back up there though.’
Bennett revealed that he had turned down clubs from a higher division to join Pompey but is convinced he has made the right decision, especially after a few pointers from a former Blues striker.
He said: ‘The only stumbling block for me to think about was the league.
‘I’d been offered a contract in a higher league but when you see the size of this club and the fanbase, it’s hard to turn that sort of opportunity down.
‘I’m sure a lot of the players will say exactly the same thing.
‘My mate Jake Jervis played here and he had nothing but good things to say about the club.
‘But you don’t need to speak to anyone or be here to know what this club is about.
‘The history and the size of it is absolutely phenomenal.’
Cook will presumably start getting closer towards his starting line-up in the coming weeks.
And although it will be a much-changed Pompey team for the start of the new campaign, Bennett has shrugged off suggestions that it will take time to find their feet.
He said: ‘I’ve been in this position before where it’s almost a brand new team.
‘It’s not that difficult. It probably won’t happen overnight and it will take a lot of hard work.
‘But I’m sure we will be ready for the first game of the season.’