Adam Barton is relishing making up for lost time to finally prove his Pompey worth.
The 24-year-old has endured a frustrating period at the Blues since his summer arrival from Coventry City.
Yet he was granted a surprise league debut off the bench in Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Oxford United.
Having missed the entire pre-season fixture list through a groin problem, the Kassam Stadium trip was only the second time he has made a Pompey squad this season.
Barton shone during his 45 minutes as Pompey extended their league unbeaten run to eight matches.
Now the midfielder wants to taste plenty more of the action.
He said: ‘It has been very frustrating. I lived in Preston before and it’s a long way down to come and do nothing for that long being injured.
‘You are not at home, you are somewhere new and it does get you down.
‘You are thinking: “What’s going on? What’s going to happen?” But it was great to play on Saturday.
‘That was actually the first time I had even travelled with the team for a league game.
‘In the meantime, I’ve been getting my fitness up on the training ground, constantly doing runs and stuff in the belief I need to be ready.
‘Me and the gaffer have discussed going out on loan but at this moment in time it wasn’t the right thing for me to do.
‘I think there were clubs interested but we didn’t really get that far. I just wanted to concentrate on here, especially having come all the way down here in the summer.
‘Then on Friday he made me aware I was in the squad.
‘I didn’t expect to come on at half-time! I’m glad I’ve got another 45 minutes under my belt, though.
‘I’m not fully fit. Match fitness is a massive thing in football. You can’t get it on the training pitch, so I have been doing my own stuff with the fitness coach. Now hopefully I can get more minutes.’
Barton’s chances of starting at Bristol Rovers on Saturday have been boosted following Michael Doyle’s sending off against Oxford.
Pompey’s skipper picked up two yellow cards – and a one-match ban – to leave the visitors to see out the final nine minutes with 10 men.
As for Barton, who had only previously played against Exeter in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy, he was satisfied with his own introduction into game.
He added: ‘I admit I was sloppy at times.
‘After being out so long you cannot go straight in and do everything right but I thought I had enough touches to try to influence the game.
‘I am exactly what the gaffer wants in a holding midfielder, somebody who likes to collect the ball from defence and play.
‘That is pretty much what I like to do.
‘I’ve got a laid-back personality, for me it feels like I am going 100mph, for everyone else it looks like I’m going about 1mph!’