Paul Robinson is determined to seize his Pompey chance – even though he has no idea how long he will be staying at Fratton Park.
The experienced centre-back joined on a month’s loan from Millwall last week and made his debut in Tuesday’s 1-0 Capital One Cup success over Peterborough.
While the 32-year-old knew he would be on the bench for last Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Exeter, he may well have played himself into contention to retain his place in tomorrow’s League Two home clash with Cambridge after a solid midweek display.
Boss Andy Awford revealed he already knew the team he would be fielding for the visit of Cambridge, regardless of the result against Peterborough and barring injuries.
But Awford will be keen to get the most out of Robinson, who has played well over 300 times for Millwall, especially if it’s a short-term deal.
Robinson said: ‘The manager was quite clear and told me I wouldn’t be playing at Exeter because he wanted me to get to know the lads and settle in a bit.
‘I respected that and, the way the lads finished last season, they probably deserved the opportunity to start this season.
‘I’m here to play as many games as possible. But I’m also here to add my experience as and when the manager needs it.
‘Ian Holloway just told me to go out and get some games.
‘Portsmouth came in straight away, put an offer on the table and I saw the opportunity to come to a fantastic club like this and play plenty of games. It was a no-brainer for me.
‘If things go well, I will have had plenty of games in the first month of the season and, hopefully, that will set me up for the season.
‘I’m just taking it game by game. I’m here for a month at the moment and we will take it from there.
‘Staying longer always depends on if it suits everyone, so I’m looking to enjoy my time and to win as many games as I can while I am here.’
Even if Pompey want to keep him longer than a month, Millwall may have other ideas if results or injuries dictate.
But Robinson, who came through the youth ranks at The Den and has only ever had one permanent club in his career, is making the most of his fresh challenge.
He said: ‘It’s been 10 or 11 years since I’ve played anywhere else so it’s been a long time at the same place. A fresh challenge is probably good for me.
‘Sometimes you can get stuck in a bit of a rut or in the same routine.
‘I think this is a great opportunity.’
Robinson has come from a club known for producing some raucous atmospheres, but also has experience of the Fratton factor, with Saturday’s visit of The U’s heading for a crowd of around 18,000.
‘I’ve played a few times at Fratton Park in the past,’ added Robinson.
‘We had a couple of games on Boxing Day and I had some good and bad memories of playing here.
‘It’s been a bit of a mixed bag against Portsmouth down the years. But I know the influence the support can have for the team. It’s up to us to bring that crowd into play for us.
‘It’s a fantastic asset. Players working hard on the pitch and doing things right will always get this crowd on side.’