Kenny Jackett has lifted the lid on why Paul Downing wasn’t included in Pompey’s match-day squad in the 1-0 victory over Bolton.
The boss revealed wanted more attacking options on the bench despite the centre-back being fully fit.
Downing was challenging to start at centre-back after Oli Hawkins suffered a foot injury in Tuesday's south-coast derby defeat to Southampton.
It was Sean Raggett who featured alongside Christian Burgess in the heart of defence, though, while ‘utility man’ Anton Walkes was named among the substitutes.
Downing arrived on a free transfer from Blackburn during the summer and started each of Pompey’s opening six League One games.
But he found himself removed from the starting XI at Wycombe last weekend and was then left out of the 18-man set-up against the Trotters today.
The former MK Dons man was ‘unlucky’ not to be involved in the success.
But with Pompey at home, Jackett felt he needed more forwards who could come on and make an impact if required.
The manager said: ‘He was unlucky not to play but I went with Sean on the left-hand side, which is his position.
‘In terms of substitutes, I said to Paul I had Anton Walkes on the bench who’s somewhat of a utility player and we had Tom Naylor in midfield (who can also deputise in defence).
‘After that, I wanted attacking options. It wasn’t necessarily about him, it was just as a manager I wanted an attacking bench.
‘He was disappointed not to be playing, he will be disappointed not to be substitute but understands my reasons as the home side wanting attacking options.’