Kal Naismith admits he believed his Pompey career was over.
Yet the winger’s stubborn refusal to accept defeat has instead sparked an impressive Fratton Park resurrection.
The 24-year-old is back in Paul Cook’s first-team frame having responded positively to being transfer listed.
Such has been the transformation, he has now made seven first-team appearances this season and dislodged Kyle Bennett from the squad.
Naismith’s determination also last week prompted the For Sale sign to be removed from his person.
And the Scot has vowed to maintain the hard work which has instigated a Blues U-turn.
Naismith said: ‘I am as confident as I have ever been, I’m enjoying going into training and enjoying any time I can get a run out.
‘I would be lying if I said I didn’t believe my Pompey career was over.
‘But I didn’t accept it, I was never looking to leave.
‘I had no intention of lingering either because I know I am good enough to play for the club, it’s an amazing place with good players.
‘I have knuckled down, worked hard and feel in a good position now.
‘I don’t know if it has been about proving people wrong, I don’t think the gaffer has ever said I am a bad player, nor has anyone else.
‘It’s part and parcel of football, it happens, going on the transfer list doesn’t mean I am a bad player, there are plenty of players transfer listed who then go on and do other things.
‘It’s just the manager has so many players to deal with and has players to bring in – so that was a decision he made.
‘Like anything, you just keep going. Football is amazing, we all love it and that is why we play it.
‘It can give you some mad down moments but there are always so many high moments on the other side – and the highs are better than the lows.
‘I’ve always been confident but it helps when you are playing well. Football is easy when you are confident, it’s a good feeling.
‘I knew I was on the transfer list but still kind of felt half-wanted.
‘I had a chance at the club still, there was never any pushing. Whether I am on the transfer list or off it, I will keep my head down and continue working hard.’
Naismith trained with the Academy squad during his first-team exile, yet insists was never treated badly.
He added: ‘I was treated fine. Although it was disappointing not to be with the first team, I certainly wasn’t an outcast,
‘I was training with the kids but Mikey Harris and Mark Kelly were absolutely brilliant with me.
‘The gaffer was always good with me around the place and said “hello”, while Leam Richardson and Ian Foster have always been good with me.
‘It was a decision made – but I was always treated well.’