Kenny Jackett is convinced forgotten-man Joe Mason has the quality to score goals for Pompey, when called upon.
The on-loan forward has been confined to the substitutes’ bench for the majority of his Blues career.
After arriving from Wolves on transfer deadline day, Mason has made just three appearances.
Behind the likes of Oli Hawkins, Brett Pitman and Gareth Evans in the pecking order, Mason has been restricted to a solitary League One outing.
Jackett admitted the form of his table-toppers has made it difficult to get the former Cardiff man into his starting line-up.
But Pompey’s manager has insisted he won’t hesitate to use Mason if required – and backed him to flourish if that’s the case.
Jackett said: ‘The side has been pretty settled and I’m pleased we haven’t had many injuries so far.
‘That has limited a few people and Joe is one of those.
‘He’s looked good in training and he is a very natural finisher.
‘Joe is a fit lad and he’ll be looking for his chance and his opportunity. He hasn’t had that yet.
‘From my own point of view, it’s been a settled side and, in the main, a reasonably successful one.
‘The place just hasn’t been there for Joe yet.
‘But when he is called upon, he has got the quality to do well.
‘If you’re looking at Joe’s goalscoring record at a higher level then it is there.
‘There is a goalscorer there, definitely, and from my own point of view I won’t hesitate to use him.
‘We look forward to him getting a chance.
‘He’s a naturally fit lad and if the ball drops to him then he’ll put it into the net.’
Mason’s loan deal at Fratton Park expires in January.
Jackett has yet to discuss potentially extending the Plymouth academy graduate’s stay with either the player or his parent club.
If Mason does depart, however, the boss is adamant he’ll try to find a suitable replacement.
Jackett added: ‘We haven’t had any discussions with Wolves or with Joe because it depends what happens between now and then.
‘If it’s not Joe then it’ll be someone else.
‘You can’t leave yourself short of players.
‘You certainly can’t leave yourself short of forwards – and short of forwards who can get goals.
‘So many clubs are short of strikers so, if you can, you want to be able to cover all eventualities and have a strong bench.’