Jason Pearce must bide his time for his Pompey debut but insists: I won’t change the way I play.
The wholehearted centre-back signed from Bournemouth over the summer after coming through the ranks at Pompey.
However, he’ll be unavailable for the Blues’ first three games of the new Championship season as he serves out a suspension.
Born in Uxbridge but raised in Fleet, the no-nonsense defender was harshly sent off in the Cherries’ League One play-off semi-final loss at Huddersfield last season for what he believed was a fair challenge on Kevin Kilbane – the first red card of his professional career.
But Pearce will not be backing out of challenges this season just because of one dismissal.
He said: ‘I got sent off in the play-off semi-final and it was my first-ever red card.
‘I was really annoyed with that because it was Kevin Kilbane and he stayed down and made a lot out of it. He wasn’t really hurt.
‘I hate it when people fake injuries just because you’ve gone in with a hard challenge.
‘I know the game has changed a bit these days.
‘I’ve seen videos where players would absolutely fly into tackles in the past and people would just get up and get on with it. It’s changed nowadays.
‘But I don’t think I will change too much. I will still fly in to tackles – it’s the way I play.’
While Pearce is not advocating a law change to allow defenders to kick lumps out of their opponents, he does believe there is too much protection for attackers these days.
‘You see some games in the Premier League and it’s like a non-contact sport,’ said Pearce.
‘Some players get the slightest touch and fall to the floor. It’s ridiculous.’
Pearce already knows he faces some stiff competition for a place in the Blues’ back four, with boss Steve Cotterill well off for options at centre-back.
Greg Halford looks to be an automatic pick, but Aaron Mokoena, Ricardo Rocha and Pearce are all currently vying for the second berth – and there could yet be more competition.
Pearce said: ‘We’ve got a lot of quality centre-backs at the club.
‘Obviously, I want to play but I know I’m at a big club in the Championship and will have to wait for my opportunity.
‘But I will always show the right attitude and, when I get my chance, I know I have to take it.’