Kelvin Etuhu promised there is more to come after his Pompey debut ended in the disappointment.
The Blues’ sole transfer window signing was given a start in the centre of midfield at Cardiff on Saturday.
It was the 23-year-old’s first match since May 2010, when he appeared as a substitute for the Bluebirds in the Championship play-off final.
Since then he has spent time in prison following a casino brawl which left a man with a broken jaw, before his release in August.
But now he is firmly back on track.
Etuhu’s Pompey bow at the Cardiff City Stadium saw him substituted after 64 minutes – and the side suffer a last-gasp 3-2 loss.
For the midfielder, though, it was a precious first hurdle cleared as he looks to resurrect his career.
And he believes there is plenty more he can show.
He said: ‘I found it tough fitness-wise.
‘It has been almost two years since I played a competitive match.
‘I didn’t think I showed what I could do in terms of attacking, though.
‘I can definitely bring more of that to the game, but it’s getting back used to playing football.
‘It has been a very, very long time.
‘For me personally that first match back was about closing my men down and getting my fitness up.
‘I had to get the work back into my legs again.
‘I am going to build on it and get fitter and stronger.
‘I’ve been coming in and training hard to build on match-days like this and got my head down.
‘The next game will be different.
‘As the matches come you will start to see the best of me, definitely.’
Etuhu made 23 appearances in total for the Bluebirds on loan during the 2009/10 season.
Now, after spending two-and-a-half months training with Pompey, he has signed a deal until the end of the season.
It was a tough debut for the former Manchester City player alongside Hayden Mullins in the centre of midfield.
He later switched with Liam Lawrence, occupying the right-hand flank.
Regardless, Pompey suffered the agony of a dramatic defeat, Craig Conway striking deep into stoppage time.
It was harsh on Michael Appleton’s men having been seemingly set for an impressive point against Cardiff.
And Etuhu certainly felt they deserved something out of the fixture.
He added: ‘It was tough, I think we had a grip of the game at 2-1.
‘I didn’t see us losing the game. If anything I saw us getting a point worst-case scenario.
‘It was a tough one to take.
‘The manager wasn’t pleased, the players weren’t pleased.
‘All the players give 110 per cent, they want to win games and to throw away the game like that, we weren’t happy.
‘For me it was disappointing to come back to Cardiff and lose.
‘Now we must put that to bed and look forward to the next game.’