Jason Pearce sized up a Pompey first-team fight and vowed: I’m keen for the scrap.
The 23-year-old is desperate to prove his Championship quality after arriving from Bournemouth last week for £300,000.
Pearce is under no illusions that he faces a battle for a regular spot at the heart of the Blues’ defence.
Ricardo Rocha and Greg Halford were Steve Cotterill’s preferred centre-half pairing last term.
Pompey’s boss is still keen on bringing back Halford from Wolves, this time on a permanent basis.
Aaron Mokoena also remains at Fratton Park, despite being linked with a move away.
Pearce, though, is undaunted by the potential competition. And he is relishing the chance to jostle for a starting place.
Pearce told The News: ‘The gaffer was really keen to bring me here.
‘He is looking to get a few more young players into the squad and I fitted into that.
‘I have been told I’ve been bought not just for now but for the future as well.
‘And while I am not expecting to start, I will certainly push the players who are starting.
‘The Championship is where I wanted to go. I wanted to make that step up. I want to prove myself at this level and I have got the opportunity now.
‘I’m a player who never gives up. I’m honest, will always give 100 per cent and will do everything possible to get into the team.
‘It was important for me to be part of a club going forward.
‘The gaffer told me how the club has had hard times recently but is now stable and moving forward, bringing in young and older players.
‘I want the manager to improve me and I am willing to learn and get better.
‘I have got to work hard and try to push my way into that team. I need to play well and show the gaffer and the fans what I can do. And I will definitely do that.’
Pearce was Cotterill’s second recruit of the summer, joining David Norris.
The Blues are also in the market for Luke Varney and Martin Paterson and are hoping to tie up those deals soon.
Suddenly Pompey find themselves linked with a whole host of names after almost two years of transfer inaction. And Pearce admitted he found it difficult to resist the lure of a club he once served as an apprentice.
He added: ‘Peterborough and Barnsley both had bids rejected and there was a bit of other interest.
‘But once Pompey came on the scene there was only one club.
‘I know the club from being there as a youngster and my family and girlfriend are all from Fleet, which isn’t too far away.
‘It’s great. There seems to be plenty of ambition and I’m really looking forward to the season ahead.’