Kenny Jackett explained Marcus Harness’ failure to rediscover his fine early season form following injury has impacted on his recent Pompey involvement.
The Blues boss has opted to go with rejuvenated Ronan Curtis and Ryan Williams as his wingers in the past two League One outings.
As a result, Harness has been an unused substitute in the draws against both Bristol Rovers and Oxford.
In his first seven Pompey outings, Harness found the net three times and impressed with his energy and guile.
Harness has not netted in his five Pompey appearances since recovering from the knock.
And Jackett feels the winger’s failure to reach those previous heights, plus the form of Curtis and Williams, has been the overriding factor in his presence on the bench.
‘Marcus has been okay,’ said Jackett.
‘We do feel since his injury he hasn’t quite hit the heights.
‘Also, if you’re looking at the game against Oxford, both Williams and Ronan Curtis showed a lot of energy.
‘They really put a lot of attacking thrust into our team.
‘We do know and realise we have three wingers here and want to get the best out of all of them.
‘Marcus had four or five games where he came back but never hit the heights that he did before his injury.
‘That led to Curtis and Williams then getting a run as the wingers.’
Jackett maintains belief Harness can rediscover his impressive early season form.
It is now a case of the former Burton winger waiting for his chance and seizing it with both hands when it arrives.
‘He’s good enough to do that,’ Jackett added.
‘You always need four wingers, if you can, Leon Maloney is probably our fourth one at the minute.
‘We have three senior wingers and I’m confident in all of them.
‘I’ve got confidence in Marcus, definitely.
‘There will be a time where it turns and it’s back to him.
‘He’ll be ready to take his chance.’