Jason Pearce has warned his rivals for his central-defensive berth: I’ve no intention of giving up my place.
The summer recruit from Bournemouth has been one of the success stories of the season so far for Pompey with a series of committed displays.
And after missing the opening three games of the season through suspension, Pearce is determined to make the most of his chance – even with Ricardo Rocha and Aaron Mokoena pressing him for selection to partner Greg Halford.
Pearce said: ‘It was a great feeling to finally make my debut for the club and get my chance in the past few games.
‘It was frustrating while I was suspended but you have to stick with it. I’m a team player and even if I’m not playing, I try to gee the lads up.
‘Once I got my opportunity, I wanted to take it.
‘Now I want to stay in the side and keep performing.
‘I was delighted to get a place in central defence – that’s where I feel I play my best.
‘I think I can do a job at left-back. If we’re low on numbers, I can do a job there for the team.
‘But my natural position is centre-back and, hopefully, I’ve done myself justice so far.’
Considering he is 23-years-old and only just joined the club, Pearce has already shown he is no shrinking violet when it comes to organising the defence and voicing his opinions on the pitch.
And the ex-Blues trainee revealed he was given specific instructions by boss Steve Cotterill not to be intimidated by his new team-mates.
Pearce said: ‘The gaffer told me to go in there and boss people around, so that’s what I’ve been doing.
‘It comes naturally to me to shout at people when I’m out on the pitch.
‘I’ve got no problem with it and I don’t think anyone minds too much.
‘I was at Bournemouth for four years and I’ve learned that when you are vocal, it helps the team out.’
While the Blues have looked defensively sound for the most part in the early stages of the campaign, they have yet to fully fire in front of goal.
But Pearce believes it is simply a matter of time before the side start scoring with more regularity.
He said: ‘When we play with a lot of heart, give 100-per-cent and everyone is on their game, our quality will show through because we have quality players.
‘If we stay solid at the back, we will create chances at the other end.’