Milan Lalkovic has been told what is required of him to make his Pompey breakthrough.
The winger is in the frame to start the Blues’ Checkatrade Trophy clash at Charlton tonight (7.45pm) – and knows he must take his chance.
Injuries have restricted Lalkovic to just one appearance this season as he bids to establish himself at Fratton Park.
The Slovakian was set to start the League One curtain-raiser against Rochdale, but picked up ankle ligament damage in training on the eve of the game.
After a brief return in the 1-1 draw against Walsall in August, Lalkovic suffered problems in both of his Achilles – a consequence of wearing boots one-and-a-half sizes too small.
The former Chelsea man impressed on his return for the reserves in their 2-1 loss to Bristol City in the Central League Cup last month.
Lalkovic has since discussed with boss Kenny Jackett what he needs to do to break into Pompey’s side.
And with the Blues on a four-match losing streak, the former Chelsea player feels there might be places up for grabs.
‘The gaffer has told me what I need to do, but I am keeping that between me and him. I know what to do,’ said Lalkovic.
‘Matty Kennedy and Jamal Lowe play in front of me. I got injured so at the moment they deserve to play.
‘We are not winning, so maybe there is a position up for grabs – not just for me but for anybody.
‘We just need to work hard and when we get a chance then we need to play well.
‘Hopefully, injuries are behind me and when I get the opportunity, the same as the other lads who are not playing, we need to take our chance.
‘I need to do what I can do and what people think I can do.
‘Personally, I believe in myself and I’ll be doing what I do best.’
Tonight’s Checkatrade Trophy clash against Charlton at The Valley is expected to be a low-key affair.
Attendances at Fratton Park in the competition have been well-below average.
And Charlton fans, seemingly, have a similar opinion of the competition to the Fratton faithful.
Just 741 fans watched the 3-2 win against Fulham under-21s last week – a record low attendance for the Addicts.
Lalkovic admitted the format was better when only League One and League Two teams were in the competition, but he sees the game as a chance to impress.
‘It’s another game and in any game you want to impress, no matter who is watching,’ he added.
‘I’ll be trying to do my best as usual. It’s a good opportunity and we lost at the weekend, so it will be nice to go and get a win.
‘It was better before when it was called the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy because it is a good tournament for the lower league clubs.
‘You still get to Wembley, but now you have clubs’ under-21s in it.
‘It depends on which way you look at it. For the young players, it’s not bad to play against first-team players.
‘However, the first-team players then might not want to play against the under-21s.’