The reception was warm and heartfelt.
It may have arrived shrouded in the disappointment of defeat to struggling Oldham Athletic but after his 67th-minute entry as a substitute, Danny Rose was thankful for the ovation.
A typically sturdy and efficient display ensued against Crawley Town in the Checkatrade Trophy on Tuesday night.
Those outings arrived at the end of one of the most testing periods in the midfielder’s time in football.
Rose hasn’t just found himself out of Kenny Jackett’s starting line-up but also his squad, as he spent six games in the stands firmly in the cold.
The 29-year-old held talks with the Pompey boss over the reasons for his absence and earned praise from his manager for his professionalism.
Against Oldham, however, the Blues lost their way in the middle of the park with calls growing for the former Northampton man’s return.
Rose said: ‘It was nice to have the reception on Saturday.
‘We do our best to bring energy to the team in that area. The gaffer knows what he gets from me when he plays me.
‘Not playing is probably one of the hardest things to deal with in football, after being released by a club.
‘But we’ve had an open dialogue about why I came out of the team.
‘It’s refreshing to have that open talk and he explained to me what I needed to do to get back in.
‘I think having that dialogue between player and manager is a good thing. If there isn’t any it can be confusing.’
Rose’s absence has coincided with Jackett going about his stated intention of lowering the average age of Pompey’s squad.
He admitted he can see the reason for the approach, although he is not sure if it explains the team’s topsy-turvy form.
Rose said: ‘It’s up for debate if the young age is a factor in the inconsistency.
‘I’d say there are a lot of teams who are young in League One.
‘But we do have some talented young players. It’s a difficult one to try to find the balance.
‘That’s what the manager’s trying to do. We have young players we want to try to develop. You want to do that because they’ll have good futures.’
Pompey will weigh up continuing with an approach which saw Stuart O’Keefe play out wide but tuck in against Crawley.
The move appeared to be a response to Jackett seeing his side’s midfield dominated at the weekend.
Rose said: ‘Against Oldham we were outnumbered in the middle, with their winger coming in off the line. We didn’t deal with that or adjust on the pitch.
‘Stuart played wide against Crawley, but in patches tucked in, a bit like (Jack) Byrne did for Oldham. It’s an extra body which helps us to get a grip on the game in terms of possession.
‘We’re not playing so much on the counter-attack but if you have an extra man in midfield you’re sacrificing that one higher up the pitch.
‘Oldham did it to us, though, on Saturday and caused a lot of problems.
‘It wasn’t through power really but numbers and moving it around pretty well.’