KENNY JACKETT believes Brett Pitman’s frustration will boost his performance levels when he’s given his Pompey chance.
The skipper has been an unused substitute in the Blues’ past league three games – but is under consideration to start at Rochdale on Sunday.
Last season’s 25-goal top scorer has had to settle for a bit-part role this term, with Oli Hawkins leapfrogging him in the pecking order.
Pitman hasn't started for the League One leaders since the defeat to Gillingham on October 6.
Jackett admits the former Ipswich marksman is disappointed with his current role – but can’t complain because of the Blues’ superb form.
Nevertheless, the boss reckons Pitman will have a point to prove when he is handed an opportunity.
Jackett said: ‘Brett is frustrated about not being in the team. He wants to be playing.
‘But, similarly like a lot of the players who are out of the side, they realise how well the lads in the side are doing.
‘It’s one where they haven’t really got a case to come and see me.
‘Brett is disappointed but understands the lads in the side have done very well. But does he want to get back into the team? Yes, 100 per cent.
‘Building up his determination will only improve performances when he does step back out of the pitch.
‘He hasn’t got on for three games but when he does play he will be fine. He needs to build up a bit to get back enjoying playing again.
‘It’s pretty tough for a centre forward to play 40-50 games throughout a season and when they do dip in and out the team you do see a renewed energy.
‘His fitness won’t suffer from not playing and whenever he steps back out on to the pitch again he’ll have a point to prove and will play very well.’
Pompey travel to Rochdale in the FA Cup second round on Sunday. The Blues delivered a 3-1 League One win at Spotland in September. Pitman started and impressed with a goal and assist.
And Jackett is mulling over deploying similar tactics when his troops again visit the Dale.
The manager added: ‘He played very well at Rochdale.
‘We played Rochdale and then Coventry after – they were two great away wins.
‘Brett played in both of them and then against Gillingham after Coventry. That was his last little run and he made a big contribution.
‘It does come into your mind and you definitely consider it. It’s always good if he has been there recently and scored – that’s good.’