Steve Cotterill praised Joel Ward after tying the youngster to a new Pompey deal.
The 21-year-old penned a fresh contract yesterday to remain at Fratton Park until June 2013, with the option of an additional 12 months.
Ward signed his last contract only last summer.
But Cotterill believes this new deal is richly deserved after an impressive maiden first-team season.
He said: 'Joel deserves it, he's done well.
'He's a very nice young man, as I've said all along.
'I thought he looked a bit tired last night against Burnley towards the end.
'But he has done really well for us this season so far.'