David Norris believes the renewal of his license to attack can bring out the best in him.
The Pompey midfielder was asked to operate behind Dave Kitson against Leicester on Saturday.
The 4-4-1-1 formation switch was the first indication of Michael Appleton’s Blues vision.
Norris responded by netting a goal and also striking the post in the 1-1 draw with the Foxes.
By the 30-year-old’s own admission, it has been an inconsistent start to his Pompey career since his summer switch from Ipswich.
He has often been part of a central midfield two, thereby blunting his attacking instincts.
Norris has four goals in 19 matches. And he is confident he can flourish in a more advanced midfield role under Appleton.
He said: ‘My role on Saturday was similar to what I did a little bit earlier in the season.
‘I was just ahead of the other two midfielders.
‘It meant I had to come back but at the same time, I needed to get around Kits (Kitson) as well to give him a bit of support along with the two wider men.
‘I just had a bit more freedom.
‘With George (Thorne) and Hayden (Mullins) sitting behind, it just gives me a bit more license to get forward.
‘As part of a midfield two, obviously I can’t go forward as much and have to pick and choose my runs a bit more.
‘Personally, though, I think I can be more effective in an attacking role.
‘I do like to play that way and I do like to get forward. It is something I definitely prefer.
‘My performances since I came to the club have been up and down, to be honest.
‘I do think I can perform in a two or in a three in the middle, especially with Hayden sitting behind me.
‘But I feel I can be more effective in an attacking role.’
Norris bagged 11 goals for Ipswich last season.
It was his most prolific campaign yet – and none of those goals came from the penalty spot.
Since moving to Pompey he has been an ever-present.
But Norris has been frustrated with his displays at times.
He added: ‘I’ve managed to get four goals and a couple of assists.
‘But at times I have been disappointed in myself.
‘I’ve just got to make sure, if it’s not going well, to keep myself in the game.
‘Sometimes when I don’t play well I am really disappointed and try to come back stronger.
‘All I can do is keep trying, keep putting in the hard work and I will get the rewards.
‘I’m happy here. I’ve settled in really well with the lads and the area. I’m enjoying it.
‘I’ve just got to make sure my performances are a bit more consistent.
‘Personally, I don’t want the odd game like a Watford or a Leeds when I don’t play so well.
‘I’ve got to try to be more consistent. I’ve got to stop being up and down.’