Danny Rose’s first-team presence is rejuvenated – and he owes the re-emergence to his family.
The tenacious midfielder has scrapped back from what appeared to be the Fratton Park brink to stamp his authority in the Blues’ starting XI.
I’m not saying that I don’t care, but those people who don’t have families can drown in terms of their mental state and with it occupying their mindDanny Rose
The 29-year-old was omitted from six of Pompey’s seven squads in September, while 36 days ago skippered the reserves in a game at Privett Park.
Yet, on Saturday, the in-form Rose completed his fifth-straight start under Kenny Jackett – winning four of them.
The former Northampton man confessed to ‘difficult’ days during a first-team squad sidelining, only months after claiming the League Two title.
But his young family in Denmead have helped deliver the mental strength to force a way back in.
Rose said: ‘This is football, things can change so, so quickly.
‘I found myself out of the squad and, as such, probably fourth choice in the pecking order of midfield players.
‘Then you start to question what’s going to happen and what the future holds, but if you stay true to yourself, maintain self-belief in your talent and demonstrate drive and determination, who knows what can happen?
‘It was difficult, really difficult, the hardest thing as a player to deal and cope with.
‘Yet I have something to go home to. I almost switch off from football a little bit and enjoy family life with my wife and three girls.
‘I’m not saying that I don’t care, but those people who don’t have families can drown in terms of their mental state and with it occupying their mind.
‘As soon as they go home from training it’s what they are thinking about, it can consume them a little bit.
‘So I try to make sure I do the business when I come into work, do the extra bits that are required and then go home and enjoy life there.
‘Kyle Bennett said something similar this season and we are the best of friends. We look at things very similarly – there is a lot to life other than football.
‘Of course football is what fans and players live for. For players it’s how we earn our living and we want to make the most of it, certainly at a club like this.
‘But, if you find yourself out of the team, you don’t want to be leaving the club looking back at how you didn’t do your best.
‘You just have to maintain the mindset that you can get back into the team if you stay fit. Stay mentally strong – because things can change so quickly and you find yourself back in the team.’
Rose has now made 53 appearances and scored five times since moving from Northampton in June 2016.
Yet there remains the issue of a contract expiry looming this summer.
He added: ‘Your contract is always in the back of your mind when you have a family to look after.
‘It’s not something myself and the club have spoken about, not with me initially being out of the team. There wasn’t really that conversation to be had at the time.
‘I am sure the closer it gets towards the end of the season and should I still find myself in the team, then we will have that conversation.’