Jack Whatmough admitted he laughed at the doubters who thought he couldn’t recover from another long-term injury.
The Gosport talent recently returned from damaged cartilage in his knee, which sidelined him for more than six months.
It was the third serious setback of his fledgling career – despite still being just 21.
On social media, Whatmough revealed he saw comments from some Pompey fans questioning whether he could again overcome another absence – a few even thinking his career was over.
But the academy product never doubted he’d make a full recovery.
Whatmough said: ‘You see the occasional tweet or post on Instagram.
‘The club put something up and there were some comments on Twitter.
‘There’s been things like “he’s finished” or “one more injury and it’s over for him”.
‘I laugh at that. It makes me laugh.
‘Maybe they think I’ll see that and it’ll shatter me.
‘That makes me laugh. They can think what they want.
‘I won’t be staying down for too long.
‘Sometimes there are people who have never kicked a ball in their life, worked in football or been in a footballing environment.
‘If they did, they’d see how hard players work to get back fit.
‘They take it as he’s injured and that’s it.
‘So much work goes into recovering from injury.
‘You’ve got the players telling you to keep going, your family saying to keep going and a lot of people saying they can’t wait until I’m back.
‘Then you get the occasional “you’re going to have to retire soon”.
‘I will keep laughing at that.’
– WILL ROONEY