Dave Kitson has been warned: You’ll have to fight to win your place back.
The Pompey forward was axed from the side which won 3-0 at Peterborough last time out after a run of 11 games without a goal.
He is expected to be on the bench again for tonight’s trip to Birmingham City.
Blues boss Michael Appleton opted to go with Marko Futacs, with Erik Huseklepp switched to the withdrawn role behind the striker, at Peterborough.
And Appleton admits Kitson’s lack of goals had played a part in his decision.
He said: ‘The young lad (Futacs) is scoring goals and Kits is struggling to find the back of the net so it wasn’t really a difficult decision.
‘He (Kitson) was fine. He completely understood.
‘The role that he’s played has been mixed up, especially since Marko came into the team.
‘So it would probably be more of a concern for Kits than it is for me that he hasn’t scored because when he does play that role, he brings more to his game rather than just goalscoring.
‘Goalscorers thrive on goals but he will probably tell you he’s a midfield player these days.
‘Whether he starts or he’s on the bench, he is fully focused and he knows the job we want from him. Whether he gets an opportunity and takes it, time will tell.’
Appleton insists the former Stoke man will get his chance again, with the Pompey boss aware that Futacs will need a breather at some stage.
Appleton said: ‘There will be a stage when Marko hits a brick wall and he won’t be able to do anything right. His touch will be all over the place and he won’t be able to hit a barn door.
‘That will be nothing to do with him but it’s what happens to young players.
‘That will be the right time to bring him out and put someone experienced in there.
‘I don’t think we need to do that at the minute, though.’