Milan Lalkovic is targeting Pompey first-team involvement – after changing his boot size.
Injury has restricted the winger to just one Blues appearance this season in the ongoing battle to establish himself at Fratton Park.
With the Achilles, there was a point where I couldn’t walk down the stairs at home, I was in that much painMilan Lalkovic
On the eve of the campaign, ankle ligament damage in training deprived him of a designated starting spot in the League One curtain-raiser against Rochdale.
Lalkovic returned to line up in the 1-1 draw with Walsall, only to be struck down by problems in both Achilles.
The former Chelsea man believes that setback was caused by his preference for wearing boots one-and-a-half sizes too small.
However, he was back in action for the reserves against Bristol City on Tuesday, featuring for the full 90 minutes in the 2-0 Central League Cup defeat.
And his boots have now been increased to size seven-and-a-half.
Lalkovic said: ‘Sometimes that is life, you need to go over the hurdles.
‘I still believe in myself and that on my day I am a really good player with experience in this league.
‘I want to play higher – whether that is with Pompey or someone else – and I am going to try to break back into the team.
‘If the injuries stay clear there is nothing in my way.
‘With the Achilles, there was a point where I couldn’t walk down the stairs at home, I was in that much pain.
‘I tried to go through two weeks of pain in training but it was clear I was injured.
‘I couldn’t really sprint. I had a similar problem last season and it disappeared somehow.
‘I ended up having injections in both of my Achilles and that really helped.
‘Then there was gym work to make them stronger, using machines to push the legs.
‘The injury is down to how I like to wear tight boots. They say I am eight-and-a-half – but I wear size seven boots!
‘It is something stupid with me, but I like my boots to be a bit tight.
‘To do both Achilles is unlucky but I have now changed my boots so don’t wear them as tight, They are still tight, though, I’ve gone up half a size!
‘I’ve been unfortunate for this to happen at a time I’ve been trying to impress the new manager. Hopefully, it’s done now and I can stay clear of injuries.’
Lalkovic has made only 17 appearances since arriving from Walsall in the summer of 2016
Yet he is optimistic he is finally ready to prove his worth to Pompey.
He added: ‘On Tuesday, I felt sharp, there was no pain in my Achilles.
‘I was a bit sore in the end but happy to get 90 minutes after six weeks out.
‘I must wait for my chance again and hopefully can soon be involved on the bench at least, then if you need something to happen in the last 15-20 minutes go from there.
‘Everybody knows I have ability. Sometimes it doesn’t always show for whatever reason, such as opponents defending deep.
‘Plenty of times you see Benno (Kyle Bennett), (Matty) Kennedy or Jamal (Lowe) not get as much of the ball – but when you do we hurt people because we are all good players.’