Pompey's Adam Barton back on familiar territory
The surroundings are distinctly more comfortable, the territory far more familiar.
Adam Barton finds himself back in his natural midfield habitat – and he is determined to remain there.
The central defensive experiment was a surprise success, earning admiration from Paul Cook and the Fratton faithful alike.
However, the return to fitness of Christian Burgess and Matt Clarke’s form have provided the freedom to play further upfield.
Subsequently Barton has started Pompey’s last two matches as Michael Doyle’s holding midfield partner.
It’s a combination previously ended by Cook in mid-October following six successive outings.
Now he’s back – and keen to remain there long after the weekend’s eagerly-anticipated FA Cup visit of Bournemouth.
He said: ‘You are never going to see me take three players on, shoot and score, that doesn’t happen otherwise I will be playing in the Premier League!
‘I get on the ball and keep it moving. The most important thing for me and Michael (Doyle) is to keep feeding the strikers and the three behind.
‘We must give them the ball and let them do what their job is, which is creating and scoring goals.
‘In the past two months as a team we have done that really well, with some great results.
‘So if we can keep doing that and stay solid out of possession then it will be job done for us.
‘Obviously it was a bit frustrating being out of the side for a while, but I have come in and hopefully did a job for the team in defence.
‘Now I want to do another job for the team in midfield.
‘Danny Hollands did really well, that is why he kept his place, he has been solid in there, he has done what he has had to do, hopefully I can do the same.
‘It is never nice when someone gets injured, especially when in a team and playing. Danny wasn’t playing at the start of the season and worked hard to get himself back in, then he gets injured.
‘That’s unfortunate but that’s football and I am sure he will come back stronger.
‘In football things change. In a full season you could be on the top of your game one week and the next on the bottom.’
While Hollands is sidelined with a broken leg, Nigel Atangana has departed for Leyton Orient to further reduce Barton’s competition.
Yet Ben Close is back in the frame as competition for the Cherries on Saturday.
Meanwhile, Barton admits he would be prepared to return to defence, if required.
He added: ‘I enjoyed it and wouldn’t mind stepping back in there if I had to.
‘The manager wanted me to start play from the back so every time I got it I tried to find a blue shirt. It felt natural for me to play there.
‘As a centre half you have more time on the ball, although sometimes there are less options, the opposition can close spaces down so you have to be very patient. Whereas in midfield you have to do things a lot quicker.’