David Wheeler fired a first-team message to Kenny Jackett as he broke his goal duck.
And the winger underlined his determination to force his way into Jackett’s first team, after playing a central role in the 4-0 Checkatrade Trophy win over Gillingham.
Wheeler made his second Pompey appearance and got his first 90 minutes under his belt as his new loan side cruised to victory.
Plenty of pro mising noises were made about the 27-year-old’s arrival last month as he agreed a season-long stay at Fratton Park from Championship outfit QPR.
But the focus has been on the excellent form of both Ronan Curtis and Jamal Lowe in wide areas, through the Blues’ flying start to the campaign,
Wheeler knows he can have few complaints about not displacing either man at present.
After laying down a marker with a strong showing, though, he stressed he’s gunning for a spot in Jackett’s first-team plans.
Wheeler said: ‘Since I’ve been here the first team has been doing very well. There’s not a lot that could be done.
‘Both lads (playing out wide) have done very well and started on fire.
‘So, if you’re on the fringes, you have to take a game of this nature very seriously.
‘We’re only just into September now. It’s a squad game and I will probably get my chance at some point.
‘If it doesn’t come by lack of form or injury it will be me forcing my way in. That’s a healthy place for the squad to be.
‘In different circumstances it could be different (about not playing much so far) but the team are joint top of the league and haven’t lost a game.
‘The players in my position are scoring, so there is nothing more you can do than praise those players and do your best to force your way in at some point.’
Wheeler had to wait until the 90th minute to get on the scoresheet after missing an earlier chance.
After scoring 21 goals in the 2016-17 season for Exeter, goal threat and creativity is expected from the hard runner.
He added: ‘I was close five or 10 minutes before I scored. I think you just need to keep running into the box things will fall for you.
‘I enjoyed it, especially the second half, there were opportunities to run at the back four and create chances. That’s what you love as a winger.
‘The manager wants me play my game and bring that to the team. He’s been encouraging me to do the right things and hopefully that’s what I’ve done.’