Drew Talbot earned plaudits for his professionalism following a committed display for Pompey’s reserves.
The 31-year-old has not appeared for Kenny Jackett’s side since being substituted during a disappointing display against Oldham.
That’s Drew, he’s honest and will give everything for the teamMikey Harris
He has subsequently been unused on the bench in the following two matches – and on Monday night was the only senior contracted player in the reserves’ game against Everton Under-23s at Westleigh Park
Talbot lined up alongside triallist Thomas Juel-Nielsen in the centre of defence for Mikey Harris’ side.
A youthful Blues outfit slipped to a late 2-1 defeat in the Premier League Cup group fixture.
Yet Talbot impressed with his commitment and attitude in a side skippered by teenager Theo Widdrington.
And Harris paid tribute to the former Chesterfield man’s contribution.
Pompey’s Academy coach said: ‘I thought Drew was excellent and really helped the young boys out.
‘Great credit to him for coming into a young group and really, really assisting and leading them. He also led by example in his performance.
‘His commitment was excellent and I was delighted with that.
‘That’s Drew, he’s honest and will give everything for the team – and certainly did that on Monday night in among a lot of young lads.
‘With the first-team injuries, some of the lads not used on the bench on Sunday had to play for us the following day.
‘It was not a problem for me because it’s a great opportunity for the younger lads at the club.’
Meanwhile, Joe Hancott has become Pompey’s latest left-back casualty.
He was forced off in the 85th minute following a clash of heads with Con Ouzounidis as the Blues man cleared a corner.
In August, Hancott became the youngest debutant in Pompey’s history after lining up against Fulham Under-21s in the Checkatrade Trophy.
The left-back slot has already seen Tareiq Holmes-Dennis and Damien McCrory sidelined following operations.
Now Hancott has himself collected injury.
Harris added: ‘Joe has a nasty whack to the nose, possibly broken, which is obviously a blow for him.
‘We have to get that assessed, but it was a great header because I think that could have been another goal.
‘He has taken a whack for the team, although it’s another injury.’