Adam May has emerged from his breather – and he’s determined to forge ahead with establishing himself in Pompey’s first-team.
The teenage midfielder had been handed eight-successive starts earlier this season as Kenny Jackett gave him his backing.
However, following his substitution at Northampton last month, Ben Close has replaced him in the Blues’ engine room.
May has not featured since failing to make the match-day 18 in three of the past four fixtures.
Yet tonight’s Checkatrade Trophy visit of Crawley (7.45pm) offers him the opportunity to impress once more.
And the 19-year-old is determined to take this latest chance.
He said: ‘I am here to play games. I’ve had a dip out and this is my chance to show why I want to get back into the team.
‘You gain momentum from a run in the side and I felt I was doing that during those nine games, I felt I was getting better and better in every match.
‘But we have a very good squad here, there are a lot of positions up for grabs, particularly with five central midfielders.
‘I’ve had my dip out and now my focus is getting back into the side.
‘When the manager took me out he told me I had done really well and it was time to have a little breather, which I take on the chin and accept.
‘Once you’ve accepted that then you must show why you should be back in the team.
‘For me that means working hard on the training ground and getting myself in the gym. Crawley represents another chance, a fresh start.
‘If you work hard you’ll catch the eye again and hopefully get back into the team on a regular basis.’
May is expected to be paired with Danny Rose in centre midfield for tonight’s game.
That will allow Close and Stuart O’Keefe to be rested among several anticipated changes to the side which lost to Oldham on Saturday.