DANNY ROSE is ready to face a challenge for his Pompey first-team spot.
The midfielder believes he can come out on top in a battle for a place in Kenny Jackett’s starting XI next term.
Blues boss Kenny Jackett had made is clear he’s looking for reinforcements in his side’s engine room.
The search is on for additional experience, after injuries to Rose and Stuart O’Keefe left Pompey exposed centrally last season.
Rose knows there is going to be more competition for his shirt, as his side aim to make it to the Championship at the second attempt.
The 30-year-old has been maintaining his fitness schedule since the season ended, to ensure he’s in shape after recovering from a broken leg.
That’s all with a view to meeting the challenges he faces head on in the forthcoming campaign.
Rose said: ‘The gaffer has said on a couple of occasions that he felt we lacked a little bit in midfield last season.
‘If he decides to bring in players there it can only be good for the team as a whole, really.
‘Usually when managers sign a player, in terms of quality, they are usually going to be as good if not better than the players already in place.
‘That’s only a good thing because it means we will have to raise our games to earn a place in the team.
‘I’m not sure who it will be, or if the manager will even do it.
‘But it’s a challenge we will face if he does, and that’s the same thing which follows in all positions.
‘Myself and Stuart (O’Keefe) were missing for a couple of months at the same time through January and February.
‘For a good 10 weeks or so there wasn’t a lot of experience in there. So the manager has identified we need a bit more.
‘If there was at least one more experienced player in the squad in the position, then when you get injuries that will help.
‘We have got young players here we want to bring through, but if you’ve got more experience to get the right blend, you will hopefully be able to cope with the injuries you take across the course of the season.’
Pompey’s midfield young guns, Adam May and Ben Close, will be tasked with continuing their progress amid new competition.
And Rose believes they will relish that battle.
He added: ‘The young lads have had to emerge last season.
‘At times the team has picked itself, so they’ve had to step up.
‘Ben Close, in particular, has kept his place in the side even when me and Stuart were both fit – and quite right, too.
‘Adam May played quite a bit at the start of the season and when called upon did a job for team after that.
‘All the experience they got last season can only bode well moving forward and help them take on the challenges they’ll face.’