Pompey possess the ‘quality and ability’ to cope without Brett Pitman.
That is the verdict of Joe Gallen, who is adamant League One’s joint-top scorer can be adequately replaced during his injury absence.
We will miss him, but there is way enough talent, way enough ability, way enough players in the squad who can take his placeJoe Gallen
On Tuesday, the nine-goal striker went under the surgeon’s knife to remove a piece of floating tissue in his knee.
That was 24 hours following an operation on the nose he broke against Fleetwood.
Pitman is now expected to be sidelined for up to a month, representing a massive blow to the Blues.
That throws the door open to the likes of Conor Chaplin, Kal Naismith, Curtis Main and Kyle Bennett to challenge for the vacancy behind the main striker.
And Pompey’s assistant boss is convinced the squad have the talent to step up.
Gallen said: ‘Brett’s the joint-top scorer in the league, of course we are going to miss him but that’s the way it is.
‘It’s up to Chaplin, Naismith, Main and Bennett now.
‘That is why we have a squad, that is why the players are here, they have got to go out and do it.
‘I think there is enough quality and ability to compensate for Brett.
‘In the Checkatrade Trophy I thought Curtis played very well, while Kal was on the left-hand side and got stronger as the game went on.
‘He had a really good second half, getting some good crosses in.
‘Kyle played in the number 10 role and had a really good game as well. With Conor, we are certainly looking for him to start games but if he doesn’t he can come off the bench and score.
‘I can understand it may seem like a disaster but Brett won’t be out too long.
‘We will miss him but there is way enough talent, way enough ability, way enough players in the squad who can take his place.
‘Let’s been honest, if they come in and do well maybe Brett won’t get back in. That’s how it has got to work.’
Pitman has been struggling with a knee problem for several weeks.
It was apparent during the latter stages of defeat against Oldham, yet the skipper had to continue with all substitutes used.
And the club felt it was time to operate rather than prolonging his agony.
Gallen added: ‘Brett is really disappointed and what he is really disappointed about is – in his words – it is at a time when he is scoring.
‘He would play with one leg and limp around as long as he’s scoring.
‘As long as Brett is scoring then he is happy. He is a typical moany goalscorer!
‘The injury is something we have known about for the past few weeks, give him great credit for not missing many minutes on the pitch.
‘I think a lot of players would have downed tools and gone off but not him.
‘He could have carried on but ethically it’s not right to force him to do that.’