Danny Rose refuses to surrender the fight for a Pompey spot.
And the popular midfielder admitted turning down a deadline-day loan move to Crawley in favour of forcing his way back into Kenny Jackett’s side.
The League Two title-winner has featured just twice this season, while failed to make seven first-team squads in all competitions.
Recovered from the broken leg he suffered in December, Monday night’s reserve clash with Oxford United represented a third 90 minutes at second-string level during the campaign.
Yet competition remains fierce for the Blues’ two midfield spots, with Tom Naylor, Ben Close and Ben Thompson currently ahead in the pecking order.
In the hunt for regular first-team football, there has been the opportunity for the 30-year-old to seal a loan switch to League Two outfit Crawley.
But a determined Rose is focusing on reclaiming a Pompey place.
He said: ‘There was talk of it (Crawley). It was late, very late, and something I looked at at the time.
‘I just thought they didn’t have a manager, their future looked uncertain, so I decided against it and to stay and fight for my place, which I thought was the right thing to do at the time.
‘I looked at it and they didn’t have a manager, not a clue who could come in. For one reason or another a new manager might not like me and I could find myself not playing at Crawley.
‘No disrespect to them, it’s a good club, we’ll be playing there soon in the Checkatrade Trophy, but I looked at it and thought it just wasn't the right fit.
‘Teams were coming in and there were articles and talk of me being available for loan. There were one or two conversations, but it wasn’t something I took too seriously because I didn’t want to go.
‘It’s only takes a suspension, injury or lack of form to get back into the Pompey frame.
‘That’s the same for a few of us.’
Rose found himself in a similar scenario this time last year, when overlooked by Jackett.
Yet a suspension for Stuart O’Keefe in November 2017 opened the door.
The former Oxford man’s return coincided with a resurgence in the team’s form, yielding nine wins from 11 matches.
But a broken leg against Northampton in the final game of 2017 prematurely ended Rose’s season.
He added: ‘About this time last year I had a similar situation.
‘It’s just a case of doing the right things and looking after number one – so when you are called upon you’re ready to do a job for your team and for yourself.
‘If I hadn't kept myself in as good a shape as I did and done the necessary gym work and the extra runs, then I probably wouldn't have come into the team and had the impact I did.
‘I wouldn’t have physically been able to perform at the level.
‘So that’s what I’m doing now, taking care of myself on and off the pitch. If and when an opportunity comes I’ll be physically ready to do the job.’