BRANDON HAUNSTRUP eyed a start at Cardiff and promised: I’m ready.
The defender is straining at the leash as Pompey go to Cardiff City Stadium in the Carabao Cup tonight.
The 20-year-old is out for his maiden start of the campaign and his first Blues outing since facing Reading last October.
Injury to fellow left-back Tareiq Holmes-Dennis has heightened the Waterlooville talent’s chances of minutes.
Haunstrup is hoping his rival quickly recovers from his knee injury, but knows he has to make the most of his chance.
He said: ‘There’s places up for grabs so you have to be ready.
‘You have to take your chance however it comes.
‘Tareiq has picked up a little knock but I hope he gets back soon and we can give each other competition to start.
‘You see it all the time how it happens when someone goes out. So you have to be prepared.
‘Sometimes when it happens it can lead to a player staying in the squad.’
Pompey are still waiting to find out the extent of Holmes-Dennis’ problems, but there is a chance for Haunstrup to lay down a marker ahead of upcoming league fixtures.
He added: ‘It’ll be a good game to play in and a chance for me to show the manager what I’ve got.
‘Hopefully that can lead to me putting thoughts in his head with the league games coming up.
‘I’m just ready to show what I can do.
‘I’m staying focused, preparing well and ready to show what I can do.
‘The manager’s told me I’m doing well and that my time will come.
‘He’s been saying that in pre-season. So I have to stay fit because we know the manager means it.
‘That’s the good thing about this season, it seems everyone is going to get a look in.’
Although he has just six Blues appearances to his name, Haunstrup has featured against Championship sides like Reading, Ipswich and Derby.
‘You want to play in games like this at big stadiums,’ said the left-back.
‘We’ve got to be ready to up our games.
‘We’ve played the likes of Ipswich, Derby, Bournemouth and Reading and adapted to it well.
‘That has to be the aim again.’
– JORDAN CROSS