George Thorne could have been forgiven for turning his phone off when he heard crisis club Pompey were interested in bringing him back to Fratton Park.
But where’s the fun in sitting on a West Brom bench or having the occasional run-out in the reserves?
Thorne – just 19 years old – fancies playing his part in a relegation battle after the Blues were plunged into the drop zone following their 10-point deduction from the Football League.
But while it would scare some, the midfielder is relishing the challenge after signing for an initial 28-day loan.
Asked if he thought about giving Pompey the swerve, Thorne replied: ‘Not at all. I’ve known Appy a long time, he’s helped me out a lot throughout my career. I benefited from playing for Portsmouth last time and I enjoyed it.
‘I felt it was only right that I came back here to play football again.
‘I was only here for four games before, but I felt like I was a very big part of the club.
‘The staff and the fans made me feel very welcome. Sometimes you find clubs that aren’t like that.
‘I felt very strongly that I fitted in here and enjoy the style of football. I just felt part of it.
‘I want to be part of helping these lads stay in the division, especially the manager. Everyone deserves it, the fans are fantastic, so hopefully we can push on.’
It may not be the kind of situation to tempt every young professional, but Thorne certainly impressed during his previous stint and is ready for the next phase.
He said: ‘The situation here doesn’t look the best from the outside, but we’ve sorted out the situation so we know where we are.
‘We’re in administration. Now we’ve got 15 games left to keep ourselves in the league.
‘I think we’ve enough in the dressing room to come out with enough points to stay up.
‘We’ve got a great bunch of lads here – players with great ability – and there’s a team spirit that is second to none. You can see that spirit among the fans as well.
‘It’s a great club with great tradition and you will see every one of us fight to the very last before we go down from this league.’
It was a whirlwind build-up to the game for Thorne, who was lined up by Blues boss Michael Appleton to make his return but had to wait for the league to sanction the move.
Thorne explained: ‘I was aware that I could come back but it was a case of sitting and waiting by the phone. As soon as Appy gave me the call, I was up for it.
‘I then travelled to the training ground to do the paperwork and then travelled up to the hotel to meet the team.
‘Everyone was disappointed to lose the game but we’re still optimistic – there are a lot of positives to take from the game.’