Kenny Jackett believes James Vaughan grasped his chance after helping Pompey battle from behind to defeat Coventry.
The on-loan Wigan striker returned to the Blues’ match-day squad after being omitted for the past three games.
His recall came after Omar Bogle suffered swelling to his knee and ankle which may rule him out for the rest of the season.
With Pompey trailing 1-0 at half-time against the Sky Blues, Vaughan replaced Oli Hawkins at the break and caught the eye by offering pace and energy up front.
Goals from Tom Naylor and Brett Pitman earned the hosts a seventh straight League One victory as they now sit third in the table.
Having failed to start a game since his January deadline-day arrival, Jackett admits Vaughan has been unlucky on the south coast.
But the boss was impressed with the forward’s contribution against Mark Robins’ men.
Jackett said: ‘James has wanted the chance and has been slightly unlucky.
‘There has been good goalscoring from from Oli Hawkins and Omar Bogle at different times.
‘James is slightly different to those two which, at times as a manager, you have to give defenders something different to think about.
‘It’s not that one player is better than the other, just sometimes a compliment.
‘But he is a hugely-experienced player and he made good contribution in the second half.
‘He took his chance and I felt he made a good contribution.
‘He occupied the centre-halves and fair play to him.
‘There was vital touches and some hold-up play, something slightly different from Oli, which is a compliment.’
Bogle is unlikely to feature for the remainder of the League One campaign.
Jackett doesn’t expect the Cardiff loanee to be fit for the remaining three fixtures.
Automatic promotion is very much in Pompey’s hands after Sunderland were held to a 1-1 draw with Peterborough yesterday.
But should it be the play-offs, Jackett admits he’s not sure if Bogle will recover in time.
He added: ‘Omar has a knee and an ankle injury for a challenge he got booked on at Burton.
‘He is on crutches at the moment so it doesn’t look like for the next week or two he’ll be fit.
‘You’d think he’s odds against it (to play for the remainder of the normal season).
‘We’re just waiting for the swelling to go down, but playing Saturday, Tuesday, Saturday, it looks tough to envisage him in any of those games.
‘Beyond that, I don’t know.’