Kenny Jackett can sense Brett Pitman’s frustration at being out of the Pompey starting XI.
But the Blues boss saluted his captain’s ice-cool nerves as he saved his side a point against Shrewsbury.
Pitman converted his 87th-minute spot-kick after Nathan Thompson had been fouled by Alex Gilliead just inside the box.
The 30-year-old has needed to be content with a place on the bench in the league, after losing his spot in Jackett’s side to Oli Hawkins after the opening-day win over Luton.
After smashing in 25 goals last season Jackett is fully aware the marksman will not be pleased about that.
The goal strengthens Pitman’s claim for a starting spot as Pompey go to league leaders Peterborough on Saturday.
Hawkins again impressed leading the line, however, although he has yet to score a goal this term.
Although regularly featuring as a sub, Jackett knows Pitman will want more game time.
He said: ‘He had a really good season last season.
‘He’s had quite a number of minutes with the cup games.
‘He’s had quite a lot of minutes. He’s not short of match play.
‘But, yes, he’ll be frustrated and would want to be in the team.’
Pitman powerfully dispatched his penalty low beyond Joel Coleman’s dive in front of the Fratton End with the pressure on to earn a draw from a tough afternoon’s work.
Jackett added: ‘That penalty was a big one at that time, and a great finish.
‘You wouldn’t want anyone else at our club in that situation. He’s put it away fantastically well.
‘If he does get a chance you feel he’s going to finish it. That’s why he’s here.
‘We think that makes a difference.’
Pitman had to come to the rescue after Greg Docherty had given his side a 74th-minute lead following an error of judgment from Christian Burgess.
Jackett said: ‘It was a miscalculation on the header and Docherty has read it well.
‘It was his first touch and he’s put it away quite easily.’
- JORDAN CROSS