Paul Cook has reiterated the qualities of fringe player Kieron Freeman.
The loanee from Sheffield United has struggled to break into the Pompey side following his January arrival.
The attacking right-back has totalled only 102 minutes of match action as Ben Davies continues to block his way into Cook’s first team.
Yet late substitute appearances in successive away victories at Stevenage and Accrington have demonstrated Freeman remains in the thoughts of Pompey’s boss.
Even so, it has been a frustrating beginning to his time at Fratton Park, having also failed to make the squad for three League Two fixtures since joining.
Yet Cook remains an admirer of the talents of the 23-year-old, who played 22 times for the Blades this season before his loan switch to Pompey.
He said: ‘Kieron is a really good player.
‘The disappointing thing is he got introduced in the Orient game – good luck!
‘It was a really poor performance from the team.
‘Kieron’s got great energy, great qualities and has tenacity.
‘He has come on in the last couple of matches and at those stages of games you can just fit in, the opposition are now stretched.
‘The lad has defensive qualities as well.
‘We wanted to get him on the pitch.
‘We know how good people are but Kieron just needed a little bit of a lift to tell him we believe in him as well.
‘He has been excellent, a good lad.
‘When you come from Sheffield United to League Two they expect to play.
‘We’ve had Ben Davies playing really well, these are the things we have to watch.
‘Ben has played a lot of football for us.’