Jamal Lowe admitted the faith shown in him by Paul Cook was a major factor in his decision to leave Pompey for Wigan.
And he lauded the former Blues boss for the ‘lifeline’ he provided when plucked from non-league football in January 2017.
Lowe joined the Latics in a deal in excess of £2.5m on Thursday – signing a three-year contract to fulfil his ambitions of playing in the Championship.
The completion of the protracted move represents the second time Cook has splashed out on the 25-year-old.
Two-and-a-half years ago the then Pompey manager took a punt on the Hampton & Richmond player – an inspired piece of business that would see Lowe go on to make 119 Blues appearances and score 30 goals.
Two of those strikes saw Cook’s men win promotion from League Two, with a double at Notts County sealing a 3-1 win in April 2017.
Meanwhile, he was also on the mark as the Blues, under Kenny Jackett, lifted the Checkatrade Trophy at Wembley in March.
Those instances, along with a 17-goal haul last term saw Lowe’s stock rise, with Millwall, Middlesbrough, Leeds and West Brom all credited with an interest in recent months.
However, the player only had eyes for a reunion with Cook – the manager who ultimately stopped Lowe quitting football altogether when it appeared his career was going nowhere.
Speaking to wiganathletic.com, he said: ‘It's been a long couple of months and there's been a lot of speculation with some discussions back and forth, but I'm happy that it's finally done with and I can concentrate on getting ready for the season.
‘There was some relief when the pen hit the paper and also excitement because it's a great opportunity to play in the Championship under a manager who has shown his faith in me before.
‘To play for a manager who has so much faith in me and has shown that in the past is a huge factor in my move.
‘This is the second time he's signed me.
‘The first time was a lifeline for me because I was at a stage when I thought about stopping playing football.
‘At that time it wasn't doing enough for my life and I needed to pay the bills.
‘I wasn't really getting any opportunities anywhere in non-league until I settled down at Hampton and Richmond, and then Paul Cook signed me for Portsmouth and gave me that platform to go and perform.’
In his unveiling interview, Lowe added that it was hard to walk away from Pompey.
‘It was a good run at Portsmouth. The gaffer here and Kenny Jackett both showed faith in me and I like to think I've paid them back with my determination to improve and perform on a Saturday.
‘It wasn't an easy decision to step away from Portsmouth. Me and my partner loved it in Portsmouth, both of our children were born there.
‘It is hard to move across the country, but that's part of the life that we live.’