BRETT PITMAN has no intention of leaving Pompey in the summer.
And the forward insists he never contemplated departing during the January transfer window.
The loan arrivals of Omar Bogle and James Vaughan – from Cardiff and Wigan respectively – pushed Pitman down the striking pecking order at Fratton Park.
After coming off at half-time in the 3-2 loss to Luton in January, last season's 25-goal top scorer was omitted from five match-day squads in total.
But he was handed his first start in 10 games at Walsall on Tuesday. Featuring in the No10 role, the captain made a goalscoring return to Kenny Jackett’s line-up in the 3-2 victory.
After joining the Blues from Ipswich in July 2017, Pitman’s three-year deal expires in June 2020.
Some fans may have expected the 31-year-old would move on at the end of the campaign while he was out in the cold.
But Pitman has pledged he wants to remain at Pompey for as long as possible.
He said: ‘I worked hard getting to Portsmouth and took a pay cut to come here.
‘I came to Portsmouth because I thought I could achieve promotion and I still do think we can.
‘It is a big club with big fans and obviously I want to stay here past next season and years after that.
‘We'll see what happens.
‘That is ultimately out of my hands but if you are performing well then why not?’
Rumours swirled that Pitman had the opportunity to depart Fratton Park on January deadline day after Vaughan’s arrival from Championship side Wigan.
He had already played a support-act role to Oli Hawkins during the first half of the season, while Bogle had joined from Premier League outfit Cardiff.
But Pitman’s belief in his own ability meant he knew he could win back a place in Jackett's side.
And even if his team-mates are selected ahead of him, the Jersey-born talent will always give them his full support.
Pitman added: ‘I had no intention of leaving.
‘Why would I want to leave?
‘I back my ability. We have got good players all over the pitch.
‘We have got four good strikers but I back my ability to be better than them.
‘It is what it is. We are a team and whoever is playing then we will support each other.
‘Hopefully we can achieve something at the end of the season because that’s the main thing.’