Bondz N’Gala is hoping he has changed Richie Barker’s opinion to win a long-term Pompey deal.
The central defender has come in from the cold in recent weeks to be a crucial cog in a Blues back line which has recorded three successive clean sheets.
It’s a far cry from the player who had failed to feature in the previous eight matches – not making the match-day squad for three of those.
With his contract up in the summer, the 24-year-old at one stage appeared to have been on his way out of Fratton Park.
Now N’Gala has re-emerged and will tonight retain his place in the side against Burton for a fourth appearance in a row.
It’s testament to the commitment and hard work of a player desperate to convince his manager he has a future.
‘Football is a funny game. A week is a long time and things change quickly, so I am glad to be playing again,’ said N’Gala.
‘I was a little bit frustrated not playing and wanted to play but the team was doing alright and got a few results, so I didn’t have anything to complain about really.
‘All I could do was work hard, focus myself and think about how I can affect things if I get my chance to get back in.
‘You have no other option but to keep going, stay professional and keep working hard because hard work reaps rewards.
‘I was even left out of a couple of squads.
‘But there’s nothing much I can do than try to change the manager’s opinion and I hope I have done.
‘I think I’ve done alright. I get paid to keep clean sheets and I have done that over three games, so I could not be any more pleased.
‘My contract expires at the end of the season and hopefully I can get offered something here. I am happy here and happy playing in front of 15,000 crowds.
‘You get a few negative thoughts floating in your head about the future but you have to stay positive.
‘I like to think I am a positive person – good things happen to those that believe and I like to keep believing.’
N’Gala has faced plenty of competition for a central-defensive role of late at Pompey, with Ben Chorley recently swelling the ranks.
Sonny Bradley, Joe Devera and Jack Whatmough have also featured there this season in a hotly-contested position.
N’Gala added: ‘Ben is a good player, a leader and a voice and I think it is something we needed. He has done very well.
‘I was left out of the team but if you lose games you can get dropped.
‘It’s a big squad and people were waiting for their chance – the same as I waited for my chance, which is understandable.
‘You have got to keep your head and stay focused.
‘We have got a lot of central defenders and a lot of competition.
‘But it is a healthy rivalry and we all get on and want each other to do well.’