Jack Whatmough is determined to win a regular spot in Pompey’s starting line-up – and he won’t feel guilty about dislodging any of his team-mates.
The academy product returned after more than a six-month absence in Saturday’s 3-1 defeat to Gillingham, having been sidelined with a knee injury.
With Kenny Jackett opting for a 3-5-2 formation, Whatmough operated alongside Christian Burgess and Matt Clarke in defence.
However, if the Blues boss reverts to four at the back, it means the Gosport ace must oust one of his team-mates.
Although he insists the Pompey squad is a tight-knit group, the 21-year-old has no problem dislodging Burgess or Clarke.
‘Everyone in the squad gets on but you’re going to do everything you can to play,’ said Whatmough.
‘If you knock a mate out of the team then it’s your chance to be selfish – football is a selfish game.
‘Unfortunately, you have friends in there but you’ve got to do what’s best for you.
‘I’d like to finish strong. I felt I started the season strongly and I want to go into the summer, stay fit and then go again next season.’
The loss to the Gills saw the Blues’ winless record at Fratton Park this year stretch to seven games.
Whatmough admitted Pompey are missing their experienced players.
He added: ‘It killed everyone on Saturday and every game when we’ve lost or drawn this season.
‘We have winners in that dressing room. We’re missing the experienced players like Brett (Pitman), Rosey (Danny Rose) and (Gareth) Evans.
‘They have played at higher levels and a lot of games.
‘They will be great additions when they return and hopefully we can turn it around.’