Paul Cook insists forgotten man Dominic Hyam has impressed him.
Yet for the on-loan youngster, the wait continues to break into Pompey’s first-team squad.
Obviously Dominic was brought in as cover, but unfortunately for him we haven’t really had any injuries
The 20-year-old joined the Blues from Reading on transfer deadline day for a temporary stay scheduled to last until January.
However, Hyam has still to progress from the Fratton Park reserve ranks as he bids to make an impact.
The central defender has so far made three outings for the second string, most recently in the Premier League Cup goalless draw at Norwich last Thursday.
With Reading being his parent club, he was forced to sit out of Tuesday evening’s Checkatrade Trophy visit of the Royals’ under-23s.
Hyam, who played 16 times for Dagenham & Redbridge last season, is currently behind Christian Burgess, Tom Davies, Matt Clarke and Jack Whatmough in the reckoning.
Cook, though, has praised the attitude of the Scot, who he believes has done well so far.
He said: ‘Dominic has been doing smashing but up until last Saturday we had Tom Davies in the team doing well, had a smashing goal difference and weren’t conceding a lot of goals in the league at all.
‘Matt Clarke is also very much to the fore in what we do and we believe is going to be a very good player.
‘Obviously Dominic was brought in as cover but unfortunately for him we haven’t really had any injuries. The kid has done really well but, like everyone, you always have to show the manager you are ready to play.
‘The training ground would be a great place for people to watch because you will see the players out there working really hard.
‘I wouldn’t suggest he is okay with not playing, I don’t think he is dead happy, but there is not a lot I can do when not allowed to pick him (Reading).
‘He hasn’t knocked on my door and said he is not okay, so I presume he must be.’
Hyam’s Pompey loan spell is set to expire on Sunday, January 8, giving him time yet to push for first-team recognition.
The Scotland under-21 international is highly-regarded by the Royals and signed professional terms in the summer after emerging through their ranks.
He has yet to feature for the Madejski Stadium first-team, instead he has been sent out on loan experiences at Hemel Hempstead, Basingstoke, the Daggers and, of course, Pompey.